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Not right to say govt has not done anything on job front: Sitharaman

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday dismissed claims that the Narendra Modi government had not done anything for job creation, despite the impact of the Covid pandemic.

“I would definitely like to speak on the job creation efforts by our government. Don’t forget that because of the pandemic, situations globally were very turbulent. There were major job loss situations in so many countries, so the same happened here also, but through Atma Nirbhar Bharat, we had made so many development-related announcements which helped people during the pandemic.

“We are helping all those who suffered losses during the pandemic, but it’s not right to say that we haven’t done anything for job creation,” she said to queries on measures for job creation in Union Budget 2022-23.

In her budget speech, she had said that the capital investment holds the key to speedy and sustained economic revival and consolidation through its multiplier effect. Capital investment also helps in creating employment opportunities, inducing enhanced demand for manufactured inputs from large industries and MSMEs, services from professionals, and helping farmers through better agri-infrastructure.

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“The economy has shown strong resilience to come out of the effects of the pandemic with high growth. However, we need to sustain that level to make up for the setback of 2020-21. The outlay for capital expenditure in the Union Budget is once again being stepped up sharply by 35.4 per cent from Rs 5.54 lakh crore in the current year to Rs 7.50 lakh crore in 2022-23. This has increased to more than 2.2 times the expenditure of 2019-20. This outlay in 2022-23 will be 2.9 percent of GDP,” she added.

With this investment taken together with the provision made for creation of capital assets through grants-in-aid to States, the effective capital expenditure of the Central government is estimated at Rs 10.68 lakh crore in 2022-23, which will be about 4.1 per cent of GDP, she added.

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