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Nirmala stresses FY22 Budget focuses on the poor, sustainable growth

Nirmala stresses FY22 Budget focuses on the poor, sustainable growth

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New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stressed on Friday that the Budget for the financial year 2021-22 is focused on the welfare of the poor and aims for sustainable growth of the Indian economy.

Replying to a debate on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, she said the document is “an instrument for Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and that it is aimed “at maintaining sustainable economic growth in medium-term”.

Sitharaman said that the Budget 2021 clearly draws on the experience, the administrative capacities, and also the exposure that Narendra Modi had during his long elected tenure, both as CM of Gujarat and the as PM.

She reminded the House that, during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in 2020, the government provided free food grains to 800 million people, cooking gas to 80 million, and cash was directly given to 400 million people, farmers, women, divyang (physically challenged)and also the poor and needy.

Infrastructure creation, continuing reforms, and transparency of accounts are features of the Budget for 2021-22. Besides providing ‘quick short term solutions’, Sitharaman said, the government is also looking at “long term sustainable growth”.

“So post-pandemic and post-global contraction, economies have suffered across the world. The attempt made in this Budget is to provide strong stimulus, which can bring in a multiplier effect, and therefore instead of finding quick short-term solutions, even as we provided quick short term quick relief for those people who so desperately needed it, we are looking at medium term, and long term sustainable growth.”

“This will keep India in a growth trajectory which will maintain us as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” she added.

Disputing the Opposition claims that the Centre worked for the benefit of ‘crony capitalists’, Sitharaman said schemes like MGNREGA and PMAY, among others, were aimed at the poor rather than the rich.

“It has now become a sort of habit for some in the Opposition to constantly allege, in spite of what we are doing for the poor and the steps taken for helping the poor and needy of this country, a false narrative is created to accuse this government of working only for cronies,” said Sitharaman.

“Over 1.67 crore houses have been completed under the PM Awas Yojana. Over 2.67 crore households have been electrified under PM Saubhagya Yojana since October 2017.”

She also said the government had placed orders worth Rs. 8,22,077 crore to the MSMEs, not the big companies. The number of digital transactions via UPI from August 2016 till January 2020 was worth over Rs. 3.6 lakh crore. UPI is not used by the rich but by the middle class, and smaller traders.

Denying allegations of non-transparency in budgetary numbers,  she said that the government’s Budget was “clear and transparent” while indicating that the numbers were doubtful during the UPA rule.



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