Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (Photo: PTI)

India Today TV is hosting The Budget Roundtable with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday night.

India Today TV News Director Rahul Kanwal will act as the moderator for the roundtable, which is being held at the Oberoi Hotel in Delhi.

Also taking part in the roundtable will be managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank Uday Kotak, chairman of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group Sanjiv Goenka, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry Chandrajit Banerjee, chief economist (India) at Citibank Samiran Chakraborty, Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group and economist Ila Patnaik.

Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first Union budget and also the first budget of the Narendra Modi government’s second term in office.

In her Budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman talked about making India a $5 trillion economy and said that to achieve the target, the country needed to make structural reforms.

Affirming faith in the Budget presented by her, Sitharaman quoted Chanakya’s Neeti saying, “Kaarya purusha kare na lakshyam sampa dayate” (With determined human efforts, the task will surely be completed).

She made the reference while speaking of India’s target of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the next few years.

The finance minister said the government intends to give greater push to digital payments. To achieve this objective, the Budget 2019 proposed a tax deduction at source (TDS) of 2 per cent on total cash withdrawals exceeding Rs 1 crore in a year.

Nirmala Sitharaman also addressed the issue of water scarcity in her Budget speech and said the government will ensure “har ghar jal” (water to every household) by 2024.

This will be done under Jal Jeevan Mission, which will focus on integrating demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.

Nirmala Sitharaman proposed steps to scale up infrastructure including augmenting 1.25 lakh km rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana at a cost of Rs 80,250 crore and creating a national highways grid.

She said that 1.9 crore houses will be provided to citizens in the next two years.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced access to electricity to every household by 2022 in the Budget 2019.

Nirmala Sitharaman also gave a big push to electronic vehicles as a means to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.

Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Modi government strives to encourage faster adoption of electronic vehicles.


By Loknath

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