Terming the Union Budget 2016-17 as “excellent”, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said it outlines the priorities of the NDA government and the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who passed the budget test with “flying colours”.
His ministerial colleague Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the budget was the “practical vision document” of the Modi government’s commitment to empowerment of villages, farmers, women, youth and the poor.
“If the Union Budget were like annual exams for our Prime Minister, then I must say he has passed the exams with flying colours,” Singh said.
Congratulating Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on presenting an “excellent” budget, the Home Minister said it was a “pro-farmer, pro-poor and pro-reform budget”.
“The budget has certainly outperformed people’s expectations on almost all fronts and it will have a multiplier effect on our economy,” he said.
Singh said the budget gives the government an opportunity to deepen the economic foundation and widen the infrastructure network. “Strengthening rural economy and providing income security to the farmers have been given top priority in this year’s budget,” he said.
In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ yesterday, Modi, while giving a pet talk to students, said they should appear for exams with a “positive approach” having free and calm mind without any anxiety. In this context, Modi had referred to budget presentation and said, “Friends, your exams are starting. I too have exam tomorrow. The country’s 125 crore people are going to test me.”
Describing it as a “perfect, progressive and prosperous people’s budget”, Naqvi said it is a “mirror” of the economy which is based on commitment to transparency and development and a system free from “power brokers and middlemen”.
“Indian economy is safe and strong even amid a global economic slowdown only due to lockout and blockade of ‘loot lobby’ by the Modi government. Each and every paisa of public money is dedicated to the welfare of the poor, needy, weaker sections, farmers, labourers and the youth.
“This atmosphere of trust and development has sent those people into depression who considered loot of public money as their birth right. Such people are engaged in a destructive political propaganda over the nation’s development,” Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Naqvi said in a statement.
The Home Minister said introduction of Pradhanmantri Fasal Bima Yojana, besides allocation of Rs 20,000 crore to improve irrigation facilities, will boost the farm sector.
“Highest ever target of Rs 9,00,000 crore as agriculture loans to farmers and highest ever allocation of Rs 38,500 crore to MNREGA are bound to benefit rural economy,” he said.
The Home Minister said increasing the allocation of funds to Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojana to Rs 19,000 crore is a “big step” to boost rural infrastructure.
“Infrastructure development is one of the biggest positives of this year’s budget. Rs 55,000 crore to developing highways is a welcome step,” he said.
Singh said investment in infrastructure sector by the NDA government, clubbed with capital expenditure in Railways, will exceed more than Rs 2.2 lakh crore.
The budget has also provided for a health cover of up to Rs 1 lakh to BPL families which shows the government’s concern for the poor.
“Decision to provide Rs 2,87,000 crore grant-in-aid to gram panchayats and municipalities will go a long way in strengthening panchayati raj institutions,” he said.
The Home Minister said the budget has also made several provisions which would boost the manufacturing sector and also create many job opportunities for the youth.