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Avoid ‘transient populism’ in poll campaign, urges Jaitley

New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley underlined the need to maintain fiscal prudence and to avoid “transient populism” in campaign for the 2019 elections.

His statement comes amid report by a news agency this week that the government is looking to announce loan waivers worth billions of dollars to woo millions of farmers ahead of a general election after BJP suffered a drubbing in state polls.

Speaking at AGM of FICCI, Jaitley said that he is confident to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent in FY19 despite challenges.

“When current account deficit (CAD) are impacted by oil prices and strengthening dollar, last thing India can afford is to run itself into twin deficit situation because fall-out of that itself will be very serious,” he said.

Jaitley said that India has been able to meet external challenges due to resilience of its economy. “Last thing we want is to manufacture a domestic problem so that our resilience to the global crisis dilutes itself. Therefore, next six months particularly in terms of political rhetoric are going to be very critical also for the economy,” saidJaitley.

He said that it is important for India Inc to flag to political parties importance of sound policies.

“Therefore for people like you to flag what is sound policy as against transient populism will all the more become extremely important,” said Mr Jaitley.