The Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, has said that implementing the One Rank One Pension scheme for military pensioners and the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission will not bankrupt the nation.
The Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley had a meeting with the financial experts in New Delhi yesterday. Following the meeting, Mr. Jayant Sinha spoke to the mediapersons. He said –
“We are managing the country’s finances very well. Experts have appreciated our efforts. The government’s financial condition is very stable. Therefore, there wouldn’t be a cash deficit even if the government implements the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. Similarly, the government can very well manage the additional cash burden incurred by implementing the One Rank One Pension scheme for the military.
Implementing the OROP will result in additional expenses of Rs.8000-10,000 crores this year. The 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations will be submitted to the government in December this year. Giving increments to the Central Government employees will result in additional expenses to the Government. He confirmed that the government can comfortably manage these expenses.
A lot of important issues, including financial burdens, increasing employment opportunities and agricultural outputs, were discussed at the pre-Budget consultation. Some of the leading names in financial management in India had participated in the meeting. It is normal for governments to hold such meetings prior to the annual budget, but it is unusual that such a meeting was held with six months to go before the next Budget is due. Sinha said that the valuable suggestions that were given by the experts have made the meeting worthwhile, and have convinced them that holding such meetings in advance was a good move.
A number of useful suggestions were given on the schemes that have to be implemented in the current and the next Financial Years. The meeting also paved way for the joint implementation of many a schemes, he said.
Discussions on agriculture and the issues related to it took up most of the time at the meeting. “We discussed a number of suggestions on how to improve our agricultural production. We talked about financial deficits and ways to reduce expenses and austerity measures. We had also discussed public investment options and the importance of making them profitable.
“The other most important topic that we had talked about was the Ministry of Finance. We had discussed the need for increasing the loans offered to farmers, and to the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and the necessity for increasing job opportunity for youngsters. We had also discussed the steps that need to be taken to boost the large-scale and production-based industries, which are among the biggest sectors that offer employment.”