New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the Union Budget was aimed at improving rural infrastructure and increasing rural income as the biggest challenge to the economy is agrarian distress.
He said the Budget for 2016-17 aimed at taking forward economic reforms, increasing spending on infrastructure and giving a boost to overall development of the country.
“It aims at improving infrastructure in rural areas and rural income increase. Today the biggest challenge to economy is rural distress and agrarian distress.”
“The Budget is aimed at taking forward economic reforms, increasing spending on infrastructure and take the country’s economy forward towards further development. The country’s development is on services, manufacturing and agriculture sector, that was the aim. The Budget is aimed at taking steps towards overall development of the country,” he said.
He said the Budget aimed at helping increase rural incomes, rural infrastructure and animal husbandry. If there is more job creation in villages, it will help emerge multiple sources of income.
On not increasing the tax slab rates, he said there is an attempt to increase the tax base and simplify tax structure.
“Reforms in the economy cannot be brought about by changing the slabs and if tax payers stop giving taxes, the country will stop. There should be benefits to tax payers also and the tax base should also increase,” he said.
Mr Jaitley said the steps taken by the government in the last 21 months collectively are themselves “very big” and this is the reason the country’s economy is growing despite the global slowdown.
On the passage of key reform bills like GST (Goods and Services Tax) pending in Parliament, he said that the government is “making attempts” and he expects “the Congress party to help and cooperate in the passage of these key reform bills like the GST”.