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Budget 2015-16: Aim to encourage saving, not just consumption, says Jaitley

Jaitley said that the states have now become financially more powerful now that they stood to get 62 percent of the centre’s tax revenues. In fact, certain Congress-led states stood to gain more than BJP-ruled states under the parameters for the revenue sharing.

The News International Team

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said one of the key goals of the Budget was to get the country’s saving rate to back to 36 percent.

In an interview to DD News, Jaitley said he was hopeful of meeting his revenue growth projection of 15.9 percent for FY16 as the economy was now in recovery mode.

He said that the states have now become financially more powerful now that they stood to get 62 percent of the centre’s tax revenues. In fact, certain Congress-led states stood to gain more than BJP-ruled states under the parameters for the revenue sharing.

He said the Budget has not compromised on spending for social sector schemes even as it tried to keep its expenditure under control.

Jaitley said he did not see it as a big problem if the fiscal consolidation plan was extended by a year. That was because public investment needed to go for the economic recovery to gain momentum.

The Budget has allocated Rs 1.25 lakh crore for public investment in FY16.

Jaitley said he would use the excise revenue from petrol, diesel to build highways and railways.

He was confident that the Rs 50,000 exemption for contribution to the New Pension Scheme would encourage individuals to save for their old age.

Jaitley said the exemptions for the salaried class were meant to encourage the culture of saving in the economy and not only to encourage consumption.

He said he was open to the idea of raising the threshold for personal income tax going forward

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