Loud cheers from BJP brass
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, BJP veteran LK Advani, and senior leaders of the party on Thursday welcomed the Union Budget for 2018-19 calling it a “development-friendly” Budget that will strengthen the vision of a ‘new India’.
Congratulating Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his team, Modi said farmers, Dalits and tribal communities will gain from the Budget. The Budget, he emphasised, will create new opportunities for rural India. This is the government’s last full Budget before the general elections.
Discussing various schemes of his Government, including the construction of toilets and initiatives in the areas of housing, power and health, the Prime Minister emphasised that the Budget devotes attention to all sectors, ranging from agriculture to infrastructure. The Budget is “farmer friendly, common citizen friendly, business environment friendly” and will add to ‘ease of living’ and ‘ease of doing business’, Modi said.
The Government will soon announce concrete steps to address non-performing assets (NPA) and ‘stress account’ issues for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, the prime minister said.
BJP veteran LK Advani praised the budget saying he could not recall a Budget “that set such high goals, targets and commitments for the growth of all sections of the economy”. Advani particularly lauded the scheme of ‘Aushman Bharat’ which aims of assuring health assurance through a scheme covering 50 crore Indians.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi hailed a “record” hike in budgetary allocation to the minority affairs ministry and said the funds will be used for the empowerment of the minority communities “with dignity”. Shah praised 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 India’s development, he said.
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