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HomeGlobal NewsExclusive: PM Modi Reveals "Surprise" Element In Election-Year Interim Budget

Exclusive: PM Modi Reveals “Surprise” Element In Election-Year Interim Budget

Exclusive: PM Modi Reveals 'Surprise' Element In Election-Year Interim Budget

PM Narendra Modi talks to NDTV in an exclusive interview

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an exclusive interview to NDTV explained his model of social welfare schemes, which, while keeping a check on fiscal deficit, can also empower the poor to climb out of poverty.

He compared how the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government never gave attention to fiscal deficit, resulting in severe side effects on the economy and citizens.

“Those who have seen my governance in Gujarat have seen that I have been a big supporter of financial discipline. Otherwise, no country can be run. Fiscal deficit is one of the criteria of financial discipline,” PM Modi told NDTV Editor-In-Chief Sanjay Pugalia in the exclusive interview.

The Prime Minister pointed at the Budget announcement in an election year, which took everyone by surprise due to its non-populist nature.

“Before the pre-election Budget was presented, if you see all the media reports, they said, ‘This is an election year Budget, Modi will distribute freebies, and win elections. When the Budget came, people were surprised to see it was not a Budget aimed at the elections,” PM Modi said.

“I wanted to spend on development… I needed to empower the poor. The poor do not want to remain poor. They want to get out of it. They need someone to hold their hand. During the UPA government, they never accepted fiscal deficit. But the side effects were so bad. One must follow fiscal discipline religiously,” PM Modi told NDTV.

“I have noticed revenue keeps growing whenever taxes become lower. The number of taxpayers has doubled. GST enrolments are increasing. People willingly pay taxes. They trust their money will go towards nation-building,” he said.

Explaining his government’s position on social welfare schemes, the Prime Minister said simply launching populist schemes without a clearly defined objective will not help the poor come out of poverty.

The difference, he said, is in empowering the poor through social welfare schemes.

“Welfare is a big component of Bharat’s social infrastructure. If we implement targeted welfare schemes and connect them with quality of life, then they become assets. You will see that all the welfare schemes of my government are connected with a guarantee for better quality of life. If people get a habit of living better quality lives, they also aspire to live in a better way,” PM Modi said.

“Capex (capital expenditure) was Rs 2 lakh crore earlier. We have brought it to Rs 11-12 lakh crore. Many people have got employment. Many people have come out to work,” the Prime Minister said.

PM Modi is looking to win a third term. His party, the BJP, has expressed confidence in winning over 400 seats in the Lok Sabha.

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