Subsidies meant for needy, not wealthy: Jaitley

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the Government per se is not against subsidies, but maintained that these are meant for the needy and not the wealthy, remarks that come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of rationalising and targeting of such benefits.
He also indicated that his upcoming Budget will not resort to “sheer populism” for good ratings, but will focus on structural reforms. He hoped that the Congress will “see reason” and help pass the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill.
“Prime Minister had a valid point and the valid point is at the end of the day, the Government per se is not against the concept of subsidies,” he said while speaking at The Economic Times Global Business Summit here.
With 25 per cent of the people below poverty line, a very large section of population is entitled to cheap food while the farm sector stress too has to be supported.
“If you look at the whole structure of the Indian economy, its agriculture sector, particularly in the last two years due to the poor monsoon, has been stressed. Therefore, you need to put funds in that particular sector. Therefore, there would be targetted subsidy,” he said.

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