New Delhi, Feb 28:
As BJP leaders and ministers Friday showered praises on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for presenting a “historic”, “pro-poor, pro-farmer” or “pragmatic” budget, the opposition Congress party called it “corporate friendly”.
“So far, removal of poverty and unemployment used to be just rhetoric. This is a pro-poor and pro-farmer budget that will make India a modern nation,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said after the budget presentation in the Lok Sabha.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said the union budget has given the “highest priority” to infrastructure that will boost employment in the country.
“This is the first time in the Indian history the FM (finance minister) has given highest priority to the infrastructure,” Gadkari told reporters outside parliament house.
“Investment in infrastructure will boost employment opportunities, give priority to rural development and agriculture,” he added.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed the budget a “historical budget”, saying: “It has given social security to all. It’s of the poor, for the poor.”
Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani praised Jaitley for giving importance to girls’ education. She said it is “a pragmatic budget that gives lot of thrust on infrastructure, skill India, innovation, girls’ education”.
According to Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu, the budget is in the interest of people of the country. “Steps have been taken to control inflation and increase investment.”
BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi termed the budget “balanced” and said that if taxes have been reduced, the subsidies too have been reduced.
However, the opposition said the budget was corporate friendly.
Calling the finance minister’s speech “full of good soundbytes and good ideas”, Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor said “but it lacks implementation measures. Only corporate are being benefited.”
Senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily said the finance minister has “given chocolates” to people.
“The GDP is looking good because of renewed method of calculating it. Even the chief economic advisor said he is confused about GDP figures. Jaitley has given only chocolates,” Moily, a former petroleum minister, added.