Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 1
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday described the union budget as all-inclusive and historic, one that will lend a “new pace and energy to India’s growth.”
The PM hailed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the budget that he said promotes “sustainable and green growth and touches the lives of everyone from artisans and craftsmen, poor, women and youth to the expanding middle class.”
Describing the “hard working middle class as a major contributor to India’s growth,” the PM said, “Middle class like youth is a major power. Our government has ensured ease of living for them, given them tax rebates and simplified tax procedures for them. This budget will further empower the middle class,” said the PM in a year when nine states will go to elections followed by the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Addressing all segments of the electorate, the PM referred to the budget saying it provides for the first time a new scheme to ensure training, credit and market support to crores of Indian artisans and craftsmen including iron smiths, potters, and innumerable others.
“This budget through PM Vikas scheme will transform the lives of these craftsmen who create new products with their sheet manual labour,” said the PM.
Broadly, the PM said, the budget has something for everyone from artisans and poor to women, farmers and the middle class.
“Women self-help groups have acquired huge potential and can perform miracles with a little push. The budget seeks to strengthen these SHGs besides launching a new small savings scheme for women,” the PM said adding that women from all sectors urban to rural will benefit from today’s announcements.
In an important move the PM hailed the budget’s push to agriculture sector digitisation and said digital payment success has to be repeated in the agriculture sector too.
“Digital agricultural infrastructure programme will be a huge scheme to this end,” the PM said hailing the FM for giving a new identity to millets by calling the coarse grain “Shree Anna.”
“Promotion of millets will economically empower Indian farmers. The super food will now be called Shree Anna. This new identity to millets will improve the health of our people,” the PM noted.
The PM added that the budget continues to place a premium on infrastructure with Rs 10 lakh crore infusion in the sector.
“Since 2014, we have seen a 400 pc rise in infrastructure budget,” said the PM adding that MSMEs would benefit from increase in presumptive tax limit and the guarantee of Rs 22 lakh crore of additional loans.
As the country gears for polls in nine states this year, the PM urged everyone to move forward together with new pledges to build a capable and prosperous India by 2047, the centenary of Independence.
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