New Delhi: Soon after Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had presented her maiden Budget on Friday, it was, predictably, welcomed by her party colleagues while the Opposition didn’t make much of it. (Catch LIVE Updates of Union Budget 2019 Here)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the budget and said, “Ye desh ko samridh aur jan jan ko samarth banane wala budget hai. Is budget se gareeb ko bal milega. yuva ko behtar kal milega.”
Home Minister Amit Shah chose to call it as one that would lay the foundation of an “inclusive and progressive” nation. “The Budget gives wings to India’s farmers, youth, women and poor to fulfil dreams,” he said.
Both Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari focused on the vision of $5 trillion economy. While Singh said the budget was futuristic as it talked about bringing about “a socio-economic transformation”, Gadkari said, “Already we have doubled the economy in the last five years. I am confident that when we complete five yrs again now, we will be more than a $5 trillion economy.”
BJP MP and filmstar-turned politician Hema Malini couldn’t help gushing over the fact that a woman presented the Union Budget. Recalling Sitharaman’s “nari tu narayani” reference to women, Hema said that if the entire country remembered that, India would be a better place.
BJP Working President J P Nadda also spoke about the Union Budget in general terms and said, “This budget is dedicated to the poor people of the country, to the Dalits, to the farmers, to the youth and women of the country. It represents all sections of society. I really congratulate the Finance Minister.”
However, not everyone was this kind, and understandably so. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury felt there was nothing new about the Budget. “Nothing new, repetition of old promises. They are talking about new India but the budget is old wine in a new bottle. Nothing new, no plan for employment generation, no new initiatives,” he said.
Senior Left leader Sitaram Yechury went on to call it fraudulent. He tweeted, “The Budget is fraudulent. The FM has used February 2019 interim Budget’s revised estimates as the revised estimates for the whole year 2018-19! Expenditure cuts in the last quarter in the runup to polls are not accounted for! So a rosy picture of the economy is based on jugglery.”
BSP chief Mayawati chose not to go to any extreme and hoped the Budget would actually be able to translate on the ground what it promised on paper. She said, “The Centre has made every attempt to make the Budget appear attractive, but it needs to be seen how effective this budget would be for the common man when the country is struggling under poverty, joblessness, poor education and healthcare.”