Ravi S Singh
Today News Online Service
New Delhi, February 8
BJP Lok Sabha MPs from Haryana Sunita Duggal and Ramesh Kaushik on Monday mounted a defence of the Union Budget 2021-22, saying it is “holistic”, “balanced” and the best in the background of the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In spite of the heavy odds, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented a forward looking Budget which seeks to lay strong foundation for quantum leap of country’s economy in the future,” Duggal told reporters at a joint presser with Kaushik.
The Budget provides well for core sectors like health, education, infrastructure and agriculture aimed to double the farmers’ income, they said.
The MPs defended the Union government’s contentious farm laws. They said some vested interests were trying to mislead the farmers on the laws for ulterior motives.
They said the Union government is ready for further talks with the farmers with regard to the farm laws. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged them to continue the talks, they said.
The Union government is open to make amendments to the laws, if need be. It is ready to commit in writing the continuance of the MSP, the said.
“The laws do not take away any facilities or rights. Rather they provide new choices and alternatives. It is up to the individual farmers to pick their choice,” Duggal said.
With regard to the Budget, she said that it promotes welfare of women.
The allocation for health in the 2021-22 Budget has been increased from Rs 94,000 crore to Rs 2.3 lakh crore — an increase of 137 per cent.
As much as Rs 35,000 crore has been allocated with regard to coronavirus vaccines.
Provision has been made with goal to double the farmers’ income, including on MSP for food grains at one-and-half times of the cost inputs, they said.
Earlier the total annual budgetary allocation for giving loans to farmer used to be Rs 7 lakh crore. The Modi-led government increased it to Rs 15 lakh crore. It is being proposed to further increase it to Rs 16 lakh crore, the said.
As many as 1000 “mandis” in the country will be linked to e-market portal. Also, Budget proposes to expand the ambit of Centre’s “Operation Green Scheme” to include 23 more crops.
Presently, the scheme is applicable only on tomato, potato and onion.
They hailed the increased allocation for the Railways and the provision which allows exemption of elderly people above 75 years of age from filing annual Income Tax Returns.