Describing the Union Budget for 2018-19 as friendly for farmer, common man, business environment and development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said it would add to the ‘ease of living’, and promote ease of doing Business.
In a statement to the media on the financial proposals, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister said the Budget will accelerate growth in the country.
‘This Budget is farmer friendly, common citizen friendly, business environment friendly and development friendly. It will add to ‘Ease of Living’.
‘This budget has devoted attention to all sectors, ranging from agriculture to infrastructure. It will accelerate growth in the country,’ the Prime Minister said in a detailed statement.
The Prime Minister said the Budget would add to the ‘ease of living’ for the common man. ‘Greater savings for middle class, new generation infrastructure for the 21st century India, and better health of insurance are all concrete steps towards ‘Ease of Living’,” Mr Modi said.
The Prime Minister lauded the Finance Minister for including in the Budget provisions benefit to the farmers, rural population, Dalits and other backward sections of the society.
A helping hand for Bharat ‘The farmers, Dalits, tribal communities will gain from this Budget. It will bring new opportunities for rural India,’ he said.
Congratulating the Finance Minister for the announcement of providing MSP of 1.5 times the price of produce to the farmers, Mr Modi said,’I am sure it will help agriculturists tremendously.’
In this context, the PM also referred to allocation in the budget of a record Rs 14.50 lakh crore for villages and agriculture sector.
He also dwelt on the provisions made for uplift of farmers, including extending the benefit of exemption in income tax enjoyed by cooperative societies to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) as well, Kisan credit card for saving farmers from the hassle of bank loans and the ‘Gobar Dhan Yojana’ to keep villages clean as well as to help increase the income of farmers and cattlemen.
He congratulated the Finance Minister for announcing schemes to provide facilities for storage and marketing of agriculture produce in different parts of the country.
Lauding the ‘Gobar Dhan Yojana’ announced in the budget, the Prime Minister said apart from helping to keep the village clean, it will also help to increase the income of the farmers. ‘In the coming days these centers will serve as new energy centers to increase economic activity besides providing employment and income adding to the income of farmers in rural areas,’ Mr Modi added.
For promoting the ‘Ease of Living’ , the PM also referred to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, under which the government provides free LPG connection to rural households.
The PM said the scheme also leads to women’s empowerment. ‘I am happy that the scheme has been expanded to cover 8 crore women,’ Mr Modi said.
The PM said that for the development of backward sections and the common masses, a provision of approximately Rs one lakh crore has been made in this budget.
He also referred to the new scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ aimed at the poor section. Back to basics ‘It is the world’s biggest health assurance scheme on government expenditure.10 crore poor and lower middle class will be the beneficiaries of this scheme, which means almost 45 to 50 crore people will come into the fold,” Mr Modi said.
The PM said that the establishment of 24 new medical colleges across the country will facilitate the treatment of people besides helping young people to get medical education.
‘Our effort is to have at least one medical college in three parliamentary constituencies in the country,’ he said. The PM said that the budget has announced several decisions to address the concerns of of Senior Citizens. ‘Under the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojna, senior citizens will now get interest of at least 8 per cent on deposit of upto Rs 15 lakh. No tax will be levied on interest of Rs 50,000 on deposits in banks and post offices.
Premium for health insurance up to Rs 50,000 will be exempted from income tax. Similarly, relief for income tax on treatment of serious diseases has been given to the extent of one lakh rupees,’ Mr Modi added.
Lauding the emphasis in the budget on the development of infrastructure, Mr Modi said,’there are about 7,000 blocks in more than 700 districts of India. In these blocks, emphasis has been laid on modernisation of infrastructure of 22,000 rural business centers, innovation and providing increasing connectivity to the villages.’
He said that roads, toilets and such other infrastructure projects would directly benefit Dalits and other backward sections of the society.
Welcoming the stress on infrastructure development in this Budget, the PM said, ‘next generation infrastructure is important to help realise the dream of modern India, Next Generation Infrastructure is very important to add to the ease of living and sustainability of the people in general.
‘The Budget lays a lot of emphasis on the Metro Rail, Iway Port-Air Port, Power Grid- Gas Grid, Bharatmala-Sagarmala and Digital India-related infrastructure. An amount of approximately Rs 6 lakh crore has been allocated for these projects. This is over one lakh crore rupees more than in the previous year. These schemes will provide opportunities for employment in the country,’ he said.
Welcoming the announcement of lowering of tax rate of MSMEs by 5 per cent, he said,’till now, MSME had to pay tax at higher rates than big industries. However, in the budget, the government has taken a courageous step to cut the tax rate of all MSME by 5 percent. So, now they will have to pay 25 percent instead of 30 percent.’
He said that the government will soon announce concrete steps to resolve the difficulties of Non-Performing Assets and Stressed Account in the MSME sector. ‘Due to the NPAs in big industries, the micro-small and medium industries have been feeling troubled. We feel that the small entrepreneurs should not be penalised for someone else’s. That’s why the government will soon announce concrete steps to resolve the difficulties of NPA and Stressed Account in the MSME sector,’ the PM said.
He said that the budget has announced several decisions to address the concerns of of Senior Citizens. ‘Under the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojna, senior citizens will now get interest of at least 8 per cent on deposit of upto Rs 15 lakh. No tax will be levied on interest of Rs 50,000 on deposits in banks and post offices.
Premium for health insurance up to Rs 50,000 will be exempted from income tax. Similarly, relief for income tax on treatment of serious diseases has been given to the extent of one lakh rupees,’ the PM added.