New Delhi, Feb 1: Presenting the interim Budget for fiscal 2019-20 -- just a few months before the keenly awaited parliamentary polls - Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the last five years saw India being universally recognised as a 'bright spot' in the world economy.
".....we are the fastest growing large economy in the world economy today," he said and sought to attack the erstwhile Congress-led UPA regime stating in initial years, the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi guided the country to come of policy paralysis.
In his speech, Finance Minister Goyal - presenting the Budget in the absence of Arun Jaitley - made a few far reaching announcements. He announced a direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to small farmers having two hectares of land.
He said the government will set up a separate Department of Fisheries and said the Rashtriya Gokul Mission to get Rs 750 crore. The UPA regime's flagship scheme MGNREGA will get Rs 60,000 crore during the fiscal 2019-20.
He referred to the efforts taken to bring full representation for economically weak backward classes, by giving them reservation in jobs and education.
The Finance Minister said a special committee will be set up to identify and denotify nomadic and semi-nomadic communities; Welfare Development Board to be set up for welfare of these hard-to-reach communities and for tailored strategic interventions.
Mr Goyal said there will be a Mega Pension Yojana, namely Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan, to provide assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month, with contribution of Rs 100 per month, for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age.
Presenting his maiden and Modi government's sixth Budget speech in the august Lower House of Parliament, Mr Goyal said the country will embark on a route to New India by the year 2022 when India completes 75 years of Independence.
Amid frequent thumping of desks including by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP patriarch L K Advani and Union Ministers among others but repeatedly yelling by Opposition members, Mr Goyal said the fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4 per cent in the revised estimate of 2018-19.
He said the government has also brought down inflation of essential commodities.
"Hamari sarkar ney, kamar tod mehangai ki Kamar hi tod di (We have broken the very spinal cord of the inflation)", the Finance Minister said adding in December 2018 - thanks to efforts made by the government the inflation rate was brought down to 2.19 per cent.
Mr Goyal said without government interventions, every households - poor and the middle class - would have had to spend about 40 per cent extra for essential commodities. UNI