Oppn’s ‘Habit’ To Call Govt Anti-Poor: FM During Her Budget Reply 

Friday also marks the 11th day of the ongoing Budget session of the Parliament.

2 min read
The Finance Minister had presented the Union Budget 2021 on 1 February. Image used for representation. 

In her reply to the Budget discussion in Rajya Sabha, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday, 12 February said that the opposition has made it a ‘habit’ to allege that the government in anti-poor.

“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.

The Finance Minister had presented the Union Budget 2021 on 1 February. While some lauded the proposals made to boost growth, several opposition parties slammed the government saying that it has persisted with a fiscal conservatism despite the current state of the economy.

Explaining the intention behind the Budget proposals, she said, “We have not ‘hurried’ towards any fiscal deficit number. Will be careful in how we bring down fiscal deficit without creating hurdles for growth.”

Responding to the allegations against the government, Sitharaman said there’s ‘credible proof’ of the work done by the government for the masses, as she went on to listing developmental work carried out under certain Central schemes.

“Over 1.67 crore houses have been completed under PM Awas Yojana. Is it for the rich? Over 2.67 crore households have been electrified under PM Saubhagya Yojana since October 2017. Total value of orders placed on government e-market is Rs 8,22,077 crore. Are they being given to big companies? They're being given to MSMEs,” she said.

“Number of digital transactions via UPI from August 2016 till January 2020 — is over 3.6 lakh crore. UPI is used by who? The rich? No. Middle class, smaller traders. Who are these people then? Is the government creating UPI, facilitating digital transactions to benefit rich cronies? Some damads? No.”

As the Oppostion raised an objection to her remarks, Sitharaman said, “Damad, I didn't think is the trademark of Indian National Congress.”

Friday marks the 11th day of the ongoing Budget session of the Parliament and will be the last day of the first phase of the session in the Rajya Sabha.

The presentation of the first-ever digital Budget came in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and its repercussion on the economy, which is facing its worst contraction since 1952.

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