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5-min read

Budget 2019: Sabka Vikas is Modi's Budget Bottomline and It All Adds Up to Mission 272

Hailing the budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the interim budget is merely a "trailer" of what will guide India towards prosperity after the Lok Sabha polls and described it as something which will benefit all sections of the society.

News18.com

Updated:February 2, 2019, 12:00 AM IST
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New Delhi: Reaching out to a large electorate ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Modi government on Friday announced a cash dole for small farmers, a mega pension scheme for the unorganised sector and gave tax rebate to those earning up to Rs 5 lakh per annum.

Among the major sops, finance minister has announced Rs 6,000 per annum direct cash transfer to farmers owning less than two hectares of land. The move, months before general elections, is likely to benefit 12 crore farmers. Rs 60,000 crore has also been set aside for MGNREGA, the rural employment scheme, with Piyush Goyal adding that the allocation can be increased further.

"Farmers earlier did not get full cost for their produce. Farmers income has reduced over the years. Income support to farmers small and marginal farmers Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) has been approved. Famers having 2 hectares and less will be provided with Rs 6000 per annum directly into their accounts," Goyal said.

The amount will be directly transferred to the accounts of farmers in three equal installments.

The ruling TRS in Telangana claimed the cash dole for farmers announced in the union budget was an "imitation" of the 'Rythu Bandhu' scheme in the state with slight modifications.

Working out the math, Congress president Rahul said "Rs 17 per day is an insult" to what the farmers stand for.

"Dear NoMo, 5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving them Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for. #AakhriJumlaBudget," tweeted Rahul.

The loud cheers over the Narendra Modi government’s bold income tax proposal, to exempt those earning up to Rs 5 lakh in annual taxable income from any tax, have already given way to cynical shakes of the head.

Lok Sabha had erupted into a loud cheer, with the Prime Minister joining others in thumping his desk enthusiastically, when Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced during his Budget speech on Friday morning that the salaried class will be given such a relief.

Fiscal deficit for 2018-19 has been pegged at 3.4 per cent and current account deficit at 2.5 per cent. Justifying inclusion of tax proposals in an interim budget, he said, "Though as per convention, the main tax proposals will be presented in regular budget, small taxpayers especially middle class, salary earners, pensioners and senior citizens need certainty in their minds at the beginning of the year about their taxes.

"Therefore, proposals, particularly relating to such class of persons should not wait."

Terming inflation as hidden and unfair tax, he said the government has "broken the back of back-breaking inflation".

Inflation stood at just 2.1 per cent in December 2018 from 10.1 per cent during 2009-14. Fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4 per cent in the revised estimate of 2018-19.

"If we had not controlled inflation our families would have been spending 35-40 per cent more on daily use items," the finance minister said.

Goyal said the pace of construction of rural roads has been tripled in the last five years. During 2014-18, 1.53 crore houses have been constructed under PM Awas Yojana. He said 10 lakh patients have been treated so far under Ayushman Bharat scheme, the world's largest health care programme. The scheme was launched to provide medical care to nearly 50 crore people, resulting in savings of Rs 3,000 crore for poor families.

The government announced setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog to enhance productivity of cows.

Hailing the budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the interim budget is merely a "trailer" of what will guide India towards prosperity after the Lok Sabha polls and described it as something which will benefit all sections of the society.

In his remarks after the interim budget was presented in Parliament, Modi said it empowers people and referred to a host of budgetary announcements and schemes to drive home his point.

In his remarks after the interim budget was presented in Parliament, Modi said it empowers people and referred to a host of budgetary announcements and schemes to drive home his point.

"Our neo-middle class is rising and so are their dreams ... Interim budget a trailer for what will take India towards prosperity after Lok Sabha polls," he said in a televised statement.

Underlining the importance of safeguarding the interests of the unorganised sector, he said PM Shram Yogi Man Dhan Yojana will be of great help. This sector needed more safeguarding of their interests and the budget for new India has done so. Ayushman Bharat Yojana and social security schemes are also going to touch their lives, he added.

Union minister Arun Jaitley, who had been holding the finance portfolio but had to relinquish the office for health reasons, said the government's decision to exempt income of up to Rs 5 lakh from tax will benefit the "great Indian middle class".

The significant announcement made by Goyal will strengthen the purchasing power of the middle class which holds the key for India's future, he said. He is currently in the US for treatment.

With some Union ministers hailing the budget as a "surgical strike" on the Opposition, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi mocked their show of euphoria, saying surgical strike will happen on Modi and his government on issues like the Rafale deal, jobs and demonetisation during the general election.

Former finance minister P Chidambram mocked the budget as an account for votes and not a vote on account as it should have been.

Slamming the government for "trampling" on time-honoured conventions by presenting a "full-fledged budget" and not an interim one, former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram accused it of violating the Constitution.

"My one line comment on the budget is that it was not a Vote on Account but an account for votes. It was a full-fledged budget accompanied by an election campaign speech," he told reporters.

The government has said that it was an interim budget.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a key opposition leader, said Friday the interim budget for 2019-20 had absolutely no value as the term of the NDA government would end soon.

"Who will implement this?" the Trinamool Congress president asked.

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