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Atmanirbhar 3.0 last push before Budget? Key theme: spur demand rather than cash in hand

Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 may well be Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s last Covid-19 relief package ahead of Budget 2021-22, but there is a discernible pattern to the four major announcements made over the last seven months. It reinforces the ‘fiscal conservatism’ ideology of the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi — rather than large cash transfers, the growth philosophy centres around creating an ecosystem that aids domestic demand,incentivises companies to generate jobs and boost production, and simultaneously extends benefits to those in severe distress, be it firms or individuals.The headline numbers — stimulus of Rs 29,87,641 crore or 15 per cent of GDP till date — are more for optics. For instance, Sitharaman Thursday said the government’s contribution to the stimulus imparted so far was 9 per cent of GDP, the balance 6 per cent being attributed to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). She put the size of Thursday’s Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 at Rs 2,65,080 crore.

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