New Delhi, Feb 1: Citing measures aimed at giving a boost to farmers, infrastructure, rural sector and small and medium enterprises, BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday said the Union Budget gives new wings to aspirations of the poor.
Shah posted a number of tweets as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made announcements while presenting his fifth budget to highlight their significance, especially for the poor and weaker sections.
This is the last full-fledged budget of the BJP-led NDA government before the next Lok Sabha polls, scheduled for 2019, and the ruling alliance hopes that its emphasis on rural sector will help it connect with masses as the elections approach.
Shah said the "record allocation" to the rural sector and agriculture will lead to unprecedented rural development and agricultural growth and asserted that consistent focus on rural development and agriculture has been a hallmark of the government. He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley for the "historic" step of raising MSPs to 1.5 times the costs incurred by farmers and said it showed the government's commitment to farmers and doubling their income.
"This budget gives new wings to the aspirations of the poor, farmers and the middle class. The #NewIndiaBudget will truly empower all sections of the society to attain prosperity," he said.
There is a "tremendous stress" on improving ease of living for the common man and this is happening with improving affordability and access, he said. This will give a boost to aspirations of common man, Shah added. He also termed 'Ayushman Bharat' as an unparallelled initiative to ensure health insurance as well as health assurance. Protecting 10 crore families, which is about 40 per cent of India's population, with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family is a global first, he said.
'Saubhagya Yojana', which aims to provide electricity connection to 4 crore families, reflects sensitivity and commitment of the Modi government to brightening the lives of the poor and bring them into mainstream of Indias development, he said. The Modi govts decision to provide eight crore LPG connections under the historic PM Ujjwala Yojana is a landmark decision and a testimony of its commitment towards woman empowerment and improving the quality of lives of poor, both urban and rural, the BJP president said.
The proposed 'Eklavya Schools' in tribal blocks reflect the govt's resolve for the uplift of tribals and this will boost their education help them secure a better future, he said. There are significant benefits to the MSME sector, which will not only give relief but also help small and medium entrepreneurs to achieve new heights of development, he said.
"I thank the government for the budgetary allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore under Mudra Yojana for the year 2018-2019 that will boost employment generation. This will specially benefit the women, OBC, SC & ST, as so far 76 per cent of loan accounts are of women and more than 50 per cent belong to the SC, ST & OBC," he said.
Building solid Infrastructure for a 'New India' has always been the focus of the government and the BJP welcomes and appreciates the record allotment to infrastructure and fastening of pace of completion, Shah said. He also highlighted the mention of 'Swachh Bharat' scheme in the budget, saying it has been one of the country's biggest success stories.
Six crore toilets built under the mission so far have empowered poor women to lead a life of dignity and the proposed two crore toilets for 2018-2019 will add another chapter to this success story, he said. Shah also highlighted budgetary allocations of Rs 56,619 crore and Rs 39135 crore for SC and ST welfare and said it reflects government's commitment to uplift marginalised and deprived sections of the society.
Reducing corporate tax to 25 per cent is a major initiative towards creating a competitive environment for doing business in India and is in line with global standards, he said. "The Modi govt has continuously improved fiscal deficit since its first budget. The target of 3.3 per cent for 2018-19 is another effort in the same direction and will certainly improve investor confidence in Indian economy," he said.