At the pre-Budget consultation with BJP functionaries Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was urged to take steps to increase liquidity in the market, tax sops for infrastructure sector and specific schemes on irrigation projects. The party leaders also suggested that the government, which had taken a number of steps to curb black money, could announce some incentives for disclosure of unaccounted money, which, they said, could remove the hesitation and apprehension in the market, sources said.
“There was a suggestion that the government should take some urgent measures to get more capital in the market. Because the apprehension that there’s too much monitoring has made many people hold back their money, leaders said if the Budget could allay those fears, it will improve the money flow,” said a source.
The leaders also pointed out that “the impression that there are too many restrictions” has choked the capital flow as well as investments. “Participants in the meeting said people are not disclosing black money because there are not much incentives for it. If the government declares some incentives, more disclosures would be there.” the source added.
Some participants were of the view that in the current atmosphere, people have reduced cash transactions and digital transactions have not picked up in the way it was expected.
The pre-Budget consultation was held in the backdrop of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government coming under severe criticism for its failure to take steps to improve the slowdown in the economy. The sliding growth rate as well as intensifying joblessness have worsened the situation. The first full Budget, after the Modi government returned to power with a massive popular support, is looked at with great expectations, said a party leader.
Party leaders expressed confidence that a “pro-people” Budget will be presented on February 1. Sitharaman held four rounds of meetings with BJP leaders at the party headquarters here, taking feedback for the Budget.
BJP working president JP Nadda, general secretaries BL Santhosh, Bhupender Yadav and Arun Singh were among those in attendance. “The Finance Minister met various sections of the party for consultation. We are confident that a pro-people Budget will be presented,” Arun Singh said.
The BJP has been holding a series of meetings with various stakeholders, including business leaders, farmer bodies, trade unions and professional bodies such as ICAI among others, as part of its pre-Budget dialogue, party spokesperson Gopal Krishna Agarwal said. The idea behind these meetings is to seek suggestions for the Budget, he added.
Agarwal, BJP’s spokesperson for economic issues, who is coordinating the meetings, said 11 meetings have been planned, of which seven have already been held at the party office. “One meeting for each specific sector is being held. The report of every meeting is being submitted to working president JP Nadda,” he said.
Agarwal said the exercise is being organised under the leadership of Nadda and BL Santhosh.
The meetings began on December 19 and will conclude on January 14. The party will have a comprehensive view from stake holders of all sectors, he said.
The Budget session would be held in two phases, with the first phase from January 31 to February 11 and the second from March 2 to April 3.