Govt and allies hail while opposition reject budget

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Wining Business Bureau

 Mumbai: The budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, the first since the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned for a second term in power, has drawn reactions on expected lines as parties in government has welcomed it, while opposition has slammed it terming verbal jugglery.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the budget has “a roadmap to transform the agriculture sector of India”. Modi said that the budget was citizen-friendly and development-friendly. “There is ease of living for people. Country is full of hope,” Modi said.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh, who holds no 2 position in Modi government,  said that Budget 2019-20 is not only farmer- and industry-friendly, but it also addresses the concerns of the youth, women, middle class, poor, and the common man. This Budget would expedite India’s forward march towards progress and prosperity.

Singh added, “Inspired by the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’ the Union Budget 2019-20 has not only outlined the vision for ‘New India’ but it is also focused on bringing a qualitative change in people’s lives.”

Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar welcomed the budget and said, “The target to take Indian economy to $5 trillion is worth appreciating. He also welcomed the Har Ghar Jal Yojana (tap water to every household) in the Budget.”

Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Governor, said, “Union Budget will take the country towards greater transparency through greater use of technology+accountability. She makes rich pay more while others remain undisturbed. All earlier development schemes and more are strengthened. It’s a bottom-up, inclusive budget.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also welcomed the Union Budget presented by Sitharaman and said it will steer the country with greater speed towards becoming a 5 trillion dollar economy ushering in a “New India”.

“”Congratulations Hon @narendramodi ji & @nsitharaman ji! This is a visionary budget which will steer India with even greater speed towards 5 trillion dollar economy! The very fact Modi ji’s Govt could add a trillion dollar in just 5 years makes it more achievable! #BudgetForNewIndia,” Fadnavis said in a series of tweets.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande, the BJP’s ally in the NDA government at the Centre, welcomed the budgetary provisions and said that this is an all-inclusive and balanced budget. It gives priority to rural economy.

Kayande, however, said the government’s proposal to increase import duty on gold and precious metals from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent could be reconsidered. She said, “It should be reduced as gold has emotional value attached to it in the country.”

On the other hand, opposition leaders were unimpressed and dismissed the budget as “confusing, disappointing and one that will pinch the pockets of the common man”.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi did not reacted directly on budget, but hinted that it was going to be “pro-rich”.

When asked by reporters whether the Budget that was going to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be pro-Ambani or pro-farmers, Gandhi with an all-knowing smile had said, “That is a good question, it means you have the understanding.”

Other opposition leaders like NCP chief Sharad Pawar slammed Modi-led government over the failure of government in addressing agricultural plight.

Sharad Pawar tweeted, “The Hon FM spoke about replicating Zero Budget Natural Farming model for the Agro sector, whilst at the same time not providing any solution or relief to the debt trap faced by farmers pan-India, leave alone referring to this serious issue in her speech.”

In another tweet, Pawar suggested the Finance Minister should have “rolled out a definite action plan with a budgetary provision to double farmers’ income by 2022, and solutions to solve the issues at hand faced by the farmers.

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram called budget speech “one of the most opaque” and he also lambasted Modi government over the farmer issue.

Commenting on sitharaman’s budget, Chidambaram said, “In the speech given by the finance minister, there was no mention of the agriculture system. How can I say something if she has not mentioned anything?”

While Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in a tweet said, “Gaon, Gareeb and Kisaan are mentioned as mere slogans without any concrete schemes to deal with farm distress.”

“No mention of agriculture in budget speech shows govt is not at all serious about improving conditions in rural sector.

The Finance Minister did not mention various budgetary allocations in her speech, which has been part of past #budget speeches for sake of clarity.#Budget2019,” Gehlot tweeted.

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