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Budget should not be kept secret anymore: Yashwant Sinha

Source: PTI
March 03, 2015 19:22 IST
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Former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said the Union Budget document should not be treated as something secret any longer.

"We are at a matured stage of democracy and in my opinion there are no secrets in the budgetary documents, a tradition which has been continuing for years," Sinha said at an event organised by MCCI in Kolkata.

He said that he had broken the tradition of reading out the Budget Speech in the evening when he was the Finance Minister.

Now, this tradition needed to be broken, Sinha said. Once the Direct Taxes Code and Goods and Service Tax are introduced, the entire Budget Speech would become irrelevant, he said.

Budget 2015: Complete Coverage

Sinha said that the practice should be that the Finance Minister should make some proposals in the Budget which should then be discussed in Parliament and then finalised at a later session.

Yashwant Sinha's son Jayant Sinha is a Minister of State for Finance.

Yashwant Sinha expressed some disappointment regarding the fiscal consolidation roadmap spelt out in the Budget.

He said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said in the speech that fiscal deficit would be brought to three per cent of GDP over a period of three years.

"This is a case for worry and there are no talks for completely eliminating the revenue deficit," he said.

"I had introduced the FRBM Act in 2003 when I was the Finance Minister for fiscal consolidation. If the legislation needs to be dumped now, then do it," he said.

He also said that the Budget had created a perception that the middle class people were given a raw deal as there were no changes in income tax rates while a roadmap for lowering corporate taxes by five years over four years had been presented.

Sinha said that on the whole, the Budget had good growth impulses and was a "comprehensive one". 

Budget 2015: Complete Coverage

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