PM says Budget pro-poor, Rahul Gandhi says it has no vision
Presenting the first Union Budget combined with Railways budget for 2017-18 in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the agenda of the NDA government for the next year is to Transform, Energise and Clean India- TEC India. He said TEC India seeks to transform the quality of the governance and quality of life of people, energise various sections of the society and clean the country from the evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent political funding.
In order to foster this agenda, the Finance Minister presented budget under 10 themes on doubling farmers income, rural employment and infrastructure, energising youth, care for poor and underprivileged, infrastructure, stable financial sector, digital economy, effective public service and prudent fiscal management and tax administration.
Mr. Jaitley said, the overall approach of the budget has been to spend more in rural areas, infrastructure and poverty elevation and yet maintain fiscal prudence. He announced major hike in allocations for ministries of agriculture, drinking water and sanitation, health and family welfare, new and renewable energy, rural development, skill development and Water resources for their various schemes.Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the General Budget will accelerate development and it has addressed the aspirations of all. He said Finance Minister has presented an excellent budget devoted to well-being of the villages, farmers, poor and the youth. Mr Modi said the aim of the Government is to double the income of farmers. He said special emphasis has been given on women empowerment and added that the Housing sector will immensely gain from the Budget. He also said the merger of the Railway Budget with the general budget will give an impetus to the transport sector's growth. In his reaction to the Budget, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said the Budget lacks vision and there is nothing in it for farmers. Mr Gandhi said his party support moves for curbing corruption in political funding.Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu hailed the budget as path breaking, saying that a new era has begun.Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge claimed that the Budget is pro rich and pro corporates. On political funding limit in the Budget, Mr Kharge said his party believes in transparency. BJD leader B Mahtab said the rosy picture portrayed by the government may not be achieved due to lack of growth and the manner in which manufacturing sector growth is coming down. NCP leader Tariq Anwar said there is nothing new in the General Budget and it is not as per expectations."