Jaitley hints interim budget could be bigger than vote on account

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 18, 2019, 11:12 AM(IST)

File photo of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

Speaking a fortnight ahead of the Budget, Jaitley underlined that there have been precedents of interim budgets containing major policy announcements to tackle an urgent situation.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hinted at the possibility of coming out with a full-fledged budget in February as compared to an interim or a vote-on-account budget. 

Jaitley refrained from giving out any details about this year's budget but stated how it certainly will be more significant than just a vote-on-account version. 

Speaking a fortnight ahead of the Budget, he underlined that there have been precedents of interim budgets containing major policy announcements to tackle an urgent situation.

He stated that the NDA government is under no pressure to present a populous budget ahead of the general elections. Economists have raised the fear that the government may announce populist measures ahead of elections, which may lead to a higher fiscal deficit.

The government has been moving on "a glide path" on the fiscal consolidation front unless some "unusual situation" demanded something, he said.

It can be noted that as per the data available till November, the government has already breached its budgeted fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent, the minister noted. 

On the RBI, Jaitley said the government and the central bank have always had consultations despite some differences that played out recently, news agency PTI reported.

The government raising its concerns should not be construed as a breach of RBI's autonomy, as in a consultative process one has to express oneself freely and frankly, the finance minister said. 

The finance minister, currently undergoing treatment in New York, was speaking through video conferencing at an award ceremony.

(With inputs from PTI)

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