Financial strength critical for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’: Nirmala Sitharaman

Thiruvananthapuram: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said indiscriminate borrowing and spending by certain States on non-merit goods and expenditure is a matter of concern, and fiscal strength is a critical component for ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’.
The temptation to borrow beyond capacity would create inter-generational burden and affect fiscal soundness of the country, she said.
“The tendency to get into such not-so-viable, non-merit expenditure is very high in some States,” she said.
As per the Constitution, the Centre can discuss with and raise questions to the States on borrowing but many of them see it as an interference in their space of authority, she said.
Sitharaman was delivering the P Parameshwarji Memorial Lecture on “Cooperative Federalism: The Path Towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat” organised here by Bharatiya Vichara Kendram in memory of Sangh ideologue P Parameshwaran. Lamenting that a wrong political narrative is being made to spoil the Centre-State relations, she said federal relationship should be governed by three Cs — cooperation, collectiveness, and coordination.
The economy in the globalised world must address the vulnerabilities it faces and the Centre and the States would have to work together in that regard, she said.
Despite hurdles and challenges, the country surged ahead in areas of development and even reached the fifth position in the global economy index overtaking the United Kingdom, the Minister added.

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