Budget for Ballot LIVE: Please Don't Shed Crocodile Tears for Farmers, Jaitley Tells Opposition - News18

Budget for Ballot LIVE: Please Don't Shed Crocodile Tears for Farmers, Jaitley Tells Opposition

News18.com | February 1, 2019, 8:41 PM IST
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Budget for Ballot LIVE: Narendra Modi government has lapped up its final chance to woo voters ahead of the general elections in Budget 2019, by appealing to the widest cross-section with its announcements. News18 is parsing through finance minister Piyush Goyal’s announcements with a political lens and bringing to you its impact, analysis and commentary throughout the day.

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the budget had something for everyone and will directly benefit 12 crore farmers, 3 crore middle class taxpayers and 30-40 crore labourers.
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Feb 1, 2019 8:41 pm (IST)

High on Rhetoric, Says Sheila Dikshit | "High on rhetoric and low on content, #Budget2019 has been truly disappointing. From landless farmer to the urban middle class, this government has hoodwinked every section of the society. (sic)" Sheila Dikshit said in a tweet hours after Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced the Budget 2019.  

Feb 1, 2019 8:12 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Congress Dubs Budget as Election Manifesto, Alleges Govt 'Bribing' Voters

Leaders of the BJP-led NDA lavished praise on the budget and expressed hope that its sops for the middle class, farmers and small industries will boost their electoral prospects.

Feb 1, 2019 6:16 pm (IST)

"Today's budget is a gift to farmers,labourers, women&middle class of India...The defence budget was enhanced beyond Rs 3 lakh crore, a first in history of India. Statesmen don't talk about only one year. The budget has created a blueprint of India of 2030," said Maharashtara chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.  

Feb 1, 2019 5:56 pm (IST)

Empty Rhetoric, Says Mayawati | BSP president Mayawati called the budget presented on Friday by the BJP-led government `jumlebazi', or empty rhetoric, that did not address the ground realities. She claimed that economic disparities had grown during the last five years with only a handful of capitalists benefiting, instead of farmers and the poor. "This is wrong and against the interest of the country," she said in a statement.

Feb 1, 2019 5:44 pm (IST)

"This budget strikes a fine balance between financial prudence and welfare of the citizenry. Budget has provisioned a 75,000 crore outlay for farmers while holding the fiscal deficit at just 3.4%, which had ballooned to 6% during UPA era," BJP chief Amit Shah said. 

Feb 1, 2019 5:43 pm (IST)

"There was no election when we talked about Swachchata & built 9-10 cr toilets. Also, when we said we'll provide electricity to every house in all villages and we did it, there was no election," Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said in reaction to P Chidambaram's statement it is not a vote on account but an account for votes. 

Feb 1, 2019 5:39 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | This Budget is An Attempt to Cheat People Of India, Photocopy of Our Schemes: Mamata

Questioning where the money for the announced sops would come from, Banerjee maintained that the Modi government had no moral authority to place a budget for the next five years.

Feb 1, 2019 5:33 pm (IST)

Reacting to Mamata's remarks, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said that the governmentt has succeeded on all levels."Inflation is down to 4.5% from 10%. If inflation had continued like times of Congress then your household budget would have been 35-40% higher," Goyal said.  

Feb 1, 2019 5:29 pm (IST)

Mamata Calls Budget 'Act of Desperation' | Lashing out at the Centre for “trying to cheat the people” of this country, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee called the Union Budget 2019 an “act of desperation”. Banerjee said the proposals from the finance minister came from an “expired budget” because the tenure of the current government is no more than a month.

Feb 1, 2019 5:06 pm (IST)

Finance minister Piyush Goyal hit out at the Congress for not investing on healthcare. "Why is it that the Congress never bothered for the healthcare of the farmers like we did? Why is it that they never bothered to ensure electricity to all as we did? Except making tall promises they did nothing," Goyal said.  

Feb 1, 2019 5:03 pm (IST)

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said that income tax refunds will be processed within 24 hours and released immediately as the Narendra Modi government reached out to the middle class with the election year budget. "Within the next two years, the assessment of all tax returns should be done electronically without any personal interface," Goyal said, while delivering the interim Budget for 2019-20.

Feb 1, 2019 5:01 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Budget is Election Manifesto, BJP Trying to Bribe Voters Ahead of Polls: Mallikarjun Kharge

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP has not told the people on what they have achieved during their rule and how many promises it has fulfilled in its five years of government.

Feb 1, 2019 4:58 pm (IST)

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has termed the Union Budget as BJP's "election manifesto" and accused the ruling dispensation of bribing voters ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Kharge said the promises made by the BJP in this budget are mere of poll sops and "jumlas", which will not be fulfilled as the BJP has a mandate to rule only till May this year.

Feb 1, 2019 4:40 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Budget Bonanza to Ballot Box? Modi Govt Reaches Out to 3 Crore Taxpayers in Election Year

The Finance Minister also proposed to raise the standard deduction for salaried employees from the current Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 and a full rebate for individual tax payers earning up to Rs 5 lakh per year.

Feb 1, 2019 4:37 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Modi Years and the Budget: Health Spending Not Enough to Make Bharat 'Ayushman'

This year's allocations is a rise of 15.9% per cent over last year's budget, which showed a rise of about 13% over what was allotted for this sector in the year before that.

Feb 1, 2019 4:29 pm (IST)

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor slammed the Modi-led government over announcements for farmers. "Rs 6,000 in income support for farmers boils down to Rs 500 per month. Is that supposed to enable them to live with the honour and dignity? he questioned.

Feb 1, 2019 4:20 pm (IST)

Prime Minister Modi said the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme will benefit over 12 crore farmers who own 5 acres or less than 5 acres of land.

Feb 1, 2019 4:19 pm (IST)

"From middle class to labourers, from farmers’ growth to the development of businessmen, from manufacturing to MSME sector, from growth of the economy to development of New India, everyone has been taken care of in this interim budget," PM Modi said.  

Feb 1, 2019 4:17 pm (IST)

This is an interim budget, a trailer of the budget which, after elections, will take India on the path to development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after the budget was announced by FM Piyush Goyal.  

Feb 1, 2019 4:14 pm (IST)

Union minister for Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' will be reflected in the Interim Budget.He said in the previous four budgets also, the government kept the poor, youth and development in mind. " 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' has been our government's mantra and it will reflect in the Budget,” Tomar told ANI.

Feb 1, 2019 4:08 pm (IST)

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, not impressed with the budget presented by FM Piyush Goyal earlier in the day, termed it as "jumla bullet express".  

Feb 1, 2019 4:02 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Budget 2019: Rahul Says Govt's Rs 17 Per Day Into 12 Crore Farmers' Bank Accounts is an 'Insult'

Under the scheme a direct transfer of Rs 6,000 per year will be made to the bank accounts of farmers owning less than two hectares of land, Goyal told the parliament today.

Feb 1, 2019 3:59 pm (IST)

'The FM Gave Vision of 10 Years When Govt's Tenure is About to End': Ashok Gehlot |  Rajasthan chief minister took a potshot at the government over the budget terming it as a "supply of jumlas". "Budget 2019 is an election document of BJP with more supply of Jumlas rather focusing on demands of people. This Budget has proved to be only a jugglery of words. The FM gave a vision of 10 years when government’s tenure is about to end!" Gehlot said.  

Feb 1, 2019 3:55 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | 'Kamar Tod Mehangai ki Kamar Tod Di': How Piyush Goyal Stole the Show With Hindi One-liners

Finance ministers traditionally stick to their written speech in English. During the 100-minute speech, Piyush Goyal spoke in Hindi on various occasions.

Feb 1, 2019 3:54 pm (IST)

The BJP and its allies in Goa have praised the interim Union budget for 2019-20 which was presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar called it a "balanced" budget while Goa Foward Party president Vijai Sardesai called it one that would take the country forward.

Feb 1, 2019 3:47 pm (IST)

Soon after the budget was announced. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and alleged the government destroyed the lives of farmers over the past fiver years, and said its Interim Budget announcement of "Rs 17 a day" for them was an insult to everything they stand and work for.

Feb 1, 2019 3:45 pm (IST)

Govt Destroyed Lives of Farmers: Rahul Gandhi | Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has alleged the government destroyed the lives of farmers over the past fiver years, and said its Interim Budget announcement of "Rs 17 a day" for them was an insult to everything they stand and work for. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, in the Interim Budget Friday, said farmers will be provided Rs 6,000 per year, which amounts to Rs 16.44 daily, in three installments under a central government scheme. "Dear NoMo, 5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. 

Feb 1, 2019 3:43 pm (IST)

Poverty falling at a record rate due to efforts of this govt, PM Modi said on the budget. "The PM Kisan Nidhi scheme is a historic step for farmer welfare," he added. Interim budget a trailer for what will take India towards prosperity after Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.  

Feb 1, 2019 3:34 pm (IST)

PM Modi adds, "A separate department for fisheries will help the fishermen and those involved in it. We are witnessing development in different sectors and the number of people getting employed is also increasing. The previous government did not worry about my labourers, the poor. But the Jan Dhan yojna, Ayushman Bharat yojna and such other schemes will help them lead a life of dignity." The thrust of this budget is to reduce the plight of the farmers at all costs, he adds. 

Feb 1, 2019 3:30 pm (IST)

'An Important Step Towards Vikas' | Continuing his speech, the prime minister says, "nearly 50 crore people will benefit from Ayushman Bharat. The farmers never got the benefits of PM Kisan Yojna. However, now nearly 12 crore farmers will reap benefits of the scheme, which is one of the largest schemes." He then adds that the budget is proof that government is sincere towards public. 

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Budget for Ballot LIVE: Please Don't Shed Crocodile Tears for Farmers, Jaitley Tells Opposition
File photo of former Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Finance minister Piyush Goyal, in the interim budget, had proposed that income tax exemption limit will be doubled from Rs 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh, but left the implementation of it to the next government. Amid confusion on when the changes in tax structure would be effective, he clarified that he just "wanted the middle class to know what the government was planning".

The centre piece of this poll-itical budget was the direct cash transfer scheme for farmers to arrest the unrest in the agrarian community ahead of elections, in an answer to Congress, which announced farm loan waivers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Piyush Goyal says the government will give farmers whose land holdings are less than 2 hectacre Rs 6000 per annum and 12 crore farmers will benefit from the scheme.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's sixth and final budget before the polls due by May is supposed to be an interim budget or a Vote on Account, but the announcements have led the opposition to call it a full budget. "There was nothing interim about it," former finance minister P Chidambaram said. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said giving farmers roughly Rs 17 per day was an insult.

Under pressure from a resurgent Congress which is going all out to lure voters with the promise of debt waiver for farmers and a minimum income for the poor if voted to power, Goyal has announced a direct transfer of cash to farmers. This may or may not replace subsidies that the farmer gets but will certainly be aimed at addressing rural distress, which was primarily blamed for BJP's defeat in recent assembly elections in key states.

Goyal, who stepped in as interim finance minister after Arun Jaitley had to fly to New York for medical treatment, was widely expected to raise income tax exemption thresholds, but the government passed the burden to the next government.