FM Nirmala Sitharaman slams opposition, “Damaad, I didn’t think is the trademark of Congress”

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is replying in Lok Sabha to the discussion on Union Budget 2021, which she presented on February 1.

February 11 was the last day of the first phase of the session in the Rajya Sabha. The first phase of the Budget session was initially scheduled to end on February 15 but was later scheduled to end on February 13. The session began with President Ram Nath Kovind’s address on January 29; the second and final phase will take place from March 8-April 8.

Stimulus provision in Budget 2021, which was presented on February 1, is for economic revival, reforms taken during Coronavirus pandemic to revive growth, informed the union minister.

The Finance Minister attacked the Opposition over its claims that the Centre works for the benefit of ‘crony capitalists’. Outlining several schemes including MGNREGA scheme and PMAY among others, she said that all these government initiatives were aimed at the poor rather than the rich.

“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 and the steps taken for helping the poor and needy of this country, a false narrative is created to accuse saying that this government works only for cronies,” she said, addressing the Parliament. She reminded members of the Upper House of several schemes that have been implemented for the poorer sections of the country, like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Saubhagya Yojana.

Sitharaman lashed out at the Congress during her response to the Budget discussion in the Rajya Sabha and said the government schemes are meant only to benefit the poor and not meant for “some Damaad” (son-in-law in a clear reference to Robert Vadra).

Infrastructure creation, continuing reforms, transparency of accounts are features of Budget 2021, said Sitharaman. Besides providing ‘quick short term solutions’, Sitharaman said that the government is also looking at “long term sustainable growth”. “We are looking at medium term, long term sustainable growth, which will keep India in that kind of growth trajectory which will maintain us as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” she added.

“Over 1.67 crore houses completed under PM Awas Yojana. Over 2.67 crore households have electrified under PM Saubhagya Yojana since October,” Sitharaman said while highlighting the false narrative by the opposition.

The Lok Sabha on Friday passed a bill to amend the arbitration law, with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying foreign arbitrators are welcome in India. The bill seeks to ensure that all stakeholders get an opportunity to seek an unconditional stay on enforcement of arbitral awards where the agreement or contract is “induced by fraud or corruption”. Prasad said the bill seeks to check fly-by-night operators who take advantage of the law to get a favourable award by fraud. The bill intends to replace an ordinance issued on November 4, 2020. Responding to a debate on the bill, the minister said he would like to make it clear foreign arbitrators are welcome in India. India welcomes arbitrators from any nationality,” he said.

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