Hailing the Interim Budget 2019 as the 'Budget for New India', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that it was merely a "trailer" of what will guide India towards prosperity after the Lok Sabha polls, triggering a reaction from Rahul Gandhi, who kept mum inside the Parliament when the budget was being presented amid loud cheers from treasury benches. Gandhi said there is soon going to be a "surgical strike" on the prime minister and his government on issues include that of the Rafale deal.
In his remarks after the interim budget was presented in Parliament, Modi said it empowers people and referred to a host of budgetary announcements and schemes to drive home his point. More than 12 crore farmers, three crore middle class families and 30-40 crore workers employed in unorganised sector will benefit from the budget, he said, adding that poverty has been falling at a record rate due to the efforts of his government. This budget will boost the efforts of 130 crore citizens in realising the goal of a new India, Modi said. He said the development initiatives of the NDA government have touched several lives which have been reflected in the budget proposals from farmer welfare to middle class, from income tax relief to infrastructure, from manufacturing to MSME, from housing to healthcare and from the increased pace of development to the New India. He expressed happiness over more people being removed from the shackles of poverty.
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"Our neo-middle class is rising and so are their dreams ... Interim budget a trailer for what will take India towards prosperity after Lok Sabha polls," he said in a televised statement. He also congratulated the middle class for the relief in taxes and said he salutes it for its contribution towards the development of the nation.
About the pro-farmer initiatives in the budget, he lamented that for years, many initiatives were taken for the farming community, but a lot of farmers never came under the ambit of these schemes. He said that PM Kisan Nidhi is a historic step for farmer welfare which will help the farmers who have under 5 acres of land. Modi added that the animal husbandry sector, fisheries have been taken care of in the budget for "new India".
On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi alleged the government destroyed the lives of farmers over the past fiver years, and said its Interim Budget announcement of "Rs 17 a day" for them was an insult to everything they stand and work for.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, in the Interim Budget Friday, said farmers will be provided Rs 6,000 per year, which amounts to Rs 16.44 daily, in three installments under a central government scheme.
"Dear NoMo, 5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving them Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for," Gandhi tweeted using hashtag 'AakhriJumlaBudget'.
"Surgical strike will happen on PM and his govt on issues like #Rafale, jobs and demonetisation," he said at a press conference.
Presenting the Interim Budget, Goyal sought to address some of the distress that the farm sector has been facing. He said the scheme will be "fully funded by the central government".
WATCH: PM Modi calls Interim Budget 'just a trailer'
WATCH: Rahul Gandhi says 'surgical strike on Modi soon'