Opposition parties deem the budget as “only for the rich”: FM Sitharaman replies
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 on the 1st of February that assured a major boost in health and capital expenditure, and various reforms including the privatization of two state-owned banks and a general insurance company. It suggested that there would be valuable government spending over the next five years. No significant new taxes or levies were announced.
On Thursday 11th February in the Rajya Sabha, opposition parties expressed that the Union Budget for 2021-22 was “for the rich and by the rich” that indicated a “painful story” of the country and bankruptcy of its economy.
Several parties namely the Congress, All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), Samajwadi Party and Left parties addressed the government about the state of the economy and its future.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman provided the following replies –
- “We have overseen the highest ever utilisation at ₹90.469 crore of the rural employment scheme” said Sitharaman.
- Budget provided an immediate post-COVID-19 package
- A required post-COVID-19 relief was clearly provided in the Union budget 2021 and this was immediate.
- “Loans sanctioned under Mudra Yojana – more than ₹27,000 crores. Who takes Mudra Yojana? Damads?” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Rajya Sabha.
- “Over 1.67 crore houses completed under PM Awas Yojana. Is it for rich? Over 2.67 crore households electrified under PM Saubhagya Yojana since 17th October. The total value of orders placed on Govt e-market is ₹8,22,077 crore. Are they being given to big companies? They’re being given to MSMEs”
- “We have not “hurried” towards any fiscal deficit number. Will be careful in how we bring down fiscal deficit without creating hurdles for growth”
- “Is this govrnment facilitating digital transaction to facilitate some cronies, some ‘damads’? Not at all, it is helping only the poor,” FM said in in Rajya Sabha
- “Number of digital transactions via UPI from Aug 2016 till Jan 2020 have been over 3.6 lakh crore. UPI is used by who? The rich? No. Middle class, smaller traders. Who are these people then? Is Govt creating UPI, facilitating digital transactions to benefit rich cronies? Some damads? No,” said the Finance Minister.
- “Attempt is to provide a strong stimulus in the Budget which can bring multiplier effect, instead of quick, short-term solutions”
- She added that there is “credible proof” for who the government is working for.
- “It is worth mentioning that 800 million people were provided free foodgrains, free cooking gas provided for 80 million people & cash directly was given to 400 million people, farmers, women, divyang & also the poor and needy,” said FM Nirmala Sitharaman in Rajya Sabha
- “It has now become a sort of habit for some in the Opposition to constantly allege, in spite of what we are doing for the poor & the steps taken for helping the poor & needy of this country, a false narrative is created to accuse – saying that this Govt works only for cronies,” Sitharaman said.