FINANCE Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the Centre has no plan to decrease the funds for the States. “We have no plan to cut the funds for States. We are already giving what the 14th Finance Commission recommended. Now, we will fully honour the report of 15th Finance Commission,” Sitharaman said at a press conference here. “We will soon return the share of GST to Tamil Nadu in two instalments,” she added. Regarding the payments to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, the Finance Minister said: “During September, October, and November, we worked hard to ensure the payments to them are cleared. Nearly 60 per cent of the amount, which was pending, has been cleared.”
Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar, who was also present on the occasion, said that helping agriculture in the country was one of the main focusses of the Union Budget. “There is a total allocation of Rs 2.83 lakh crore for agriculture sector. This covers water-deficient districts and others. Over and above, there is an agriculture credit of Rs 15 lakh crore, which is an increase from Rs 12 lakh crore, which was given earlier,” said Kumar. Sitharaman said that a similar interaction will be held in Kolkata on Sunday too, which will be followed by a few others in other cities.
MSMEs can complain if banks deny loan without reason: FM: Sitharaman told micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to make a complaint if banks deny loans without reason. Explaining the proposals in the Union Budget 2020-21 presented by her in Parliament recently to traders and industry here, Sitharaman said if the banks are denying loans without reason then the MSMEs can send a complaint to the special centre to be announced shortly. Nirmala says ‘sorry’ for marathon budget address: Sitharaman said her two hour plus Budget speech days ago was inevitable since every aspect of the economy warranted a careful response and expressed regret for putting people to inconvenience.
“It was needed. Definitely it was needed. I would have completed reading out the remaining portion after drinking water,” she said. “Sorry. I agree, all of you were put to inconvenience. I don’t know if you thought (why) this lady was talking for about two and a half hours. But I had things to be spelt out and we have a duty to implement and we will do it, she said.