File photo: BJP President Amit Shah. Photograph:( ANI )
BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday said the Union Budget would ensure that development touched all sections of society and help the government realise its dream of a "New India" by 2022.
Speaking to the media here, Shah highlighted various budget provisions, especially those aimed at weaker sections, and said it was a pro-people Budget that would take the country ahead on the path to development.
The Budget gives "new wings" to the aspirations of the poor, he said, citing measures aimed at giving a boost to farmers, infrastructure, rural sector and small and medium enterprises.
Shah also posted a number of tweets as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented his fifth straight budget today to highlight the significance of the measures, especially those for the weaker sections.
This is the last full-fledged budget of the BJP-led NDA government before the next Lok Sabha polls, scheduled for 2019, and the ruling alliance hopes that its emphasis on the rural sector will help it connect with the masses as the elections approach.
The BJP president said the "record allocation" to the rural sector and agriculture would lead to the unprecedented rural development and agricultural growth and asserted that the consistent focus on these sectors had been a hallmark of the government.
He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley for the "historic" step of raising MSPs to 1.5 times the costs incurred by farmers and said it showed the government's commitment to farmers and resolve of doubling their income.
"This budget gives new wings to the aspirations of the poor, farmers and the middle class. The #NewIndiaBudget will truly empower all sections of society to attain prosperity," he tweeted.
There was a "tremendous stress" on improving the ease of living for the common man and this was happening by improving affordability and access and would give a boost to the aspirations of the common man, Shah added.
He also termed the government's "Ayushman Bharat" scheme an unparalleled initiative to ensure "health insurance as well as health assurance".
Protecting 10 crore families, which is about 40 per cent of India's population, with a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family, was a global first, he said.
The scheme had received a good response from the people, who were calling it "ModiCare", he added.
The proposed "Eklavya Schools" in tribal blocks reflected the govt's resolve to uplift tribal communities and help them secure a better future, he said.
The "significant benefits" to the MSME sector would not only give relief to small and medium entrepreneurs but also help them achieve new heights of development, he added.
"I thank the government for the budgetary allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore under the 'Mudra Yojana' for the year 2018- 2019 that will boost employment generation. This will especially benefit women, OBC, SC & ST, as so far 76 per cent of loan accounts are of women and more than 50 per cent belong to SC, ST & OBC," Shah said.
Building a solid Infrastructure for a 'New India' has always been the focus of the government and the BJP welcomed and appreciated the record allotment to infrastructure and hastening the pace of completion, Shah said.
Reducing corporate tax to 25 per cent was a major initiative towards creating a competitive environment for doing business in India and was in line with global standards, he said.
"The Modi government has continuously improved fiscal deficit since its first budget. The target of 3.3 per cent for 2018-19 is another effort in the same direction and will certainly improve investor confidence in the Indian economy," he said.