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Lok Sabha clears Interim Budget 2019-20: Oppn create ruckus, stage walkout
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Lok Sabha clears Interim Budget 2019-20: Oppn create ruckus, stage walkout

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 11: The Lok Sabha on Monday gave its nod to the interim budget 2019-20 and sanctioned the proposed fund for first four months of the new fiscal 2019-20 after Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his spirited reply said that the Modi government has embarked on a developmental spree.

The Finance Bill 2019 dealing with existing rates of income tax for fiscal 2019-20 and to provide relief to tax payers will be taken up on Tuesday.

In his reply to the two-day long debate, the Finance Minister said the Congress and other Opposition parties were actually surprised to see that in just five years so much of developmental works were done and moreover - this was achieved by also ensuring that the country's economy is on right track.

The government proposals presented to Parliament on February 1 pledged a huge amount to support poor farmers and reduced the tax burden for the middle class as the BJP-led dispensation looked to rally support from voters in the ensuing elections.

What was considered a virtual poll launch, in the interim Budget, the Modi government had unveiled a Rs 75,000 crore new farm income scheme aimed to help at least 12 crore farmers.

During Finance Minister's speech, the Opposition TDP and Congress members trooped into the Well of the House raising anti-government slogans.

The House also approved the third supplementary demands for grants for 2018-19.

The Budget was passed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other senior Ministers and BJP patriarch L K Advani.

However, after raising respective demands for Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh and Congress members insisting for a JPC probe into the Rafale deal, the passage of the Budget was marred by walkout by Opposition members from Congress, Left parties and TDP.

Mr Goyal said there was no merit in Opposition charge that despite presenting an Interim Budget on February 1, the NDA regime has several important tax rebates and financial policies.

He said in 2014, presenting the interim budget for first four months of 2014-15, the then Congress Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said that often urgent measures ought to be taken.

"During their time, what was the urgency in 2014? - They gave tax relief to rich people who wanted to buy costlier SUV vehicles...Which poor people and farmers buy such vehicles," he said adding in contrast the NDA dispensation in the Interim Budget has made proposals for giving relief to farmers and the middle class and poor.

"This is style of the functioning of the Modi government," Mr Goyal said amid thumping of desks by BJP and other NDA members.

The Finance Minister ridiculed the manner the Congress and some other Opposition parties have in last few days tried to "belittle" the newly announced Prime Minister Kisan Samman scheme for farmers.

"Those who live in ivory tower buildings and Namdaars (people with rich and famous background) will never understand the importance of the assistance of Rs 6,000 to be given to farmers)," he said.

Minutes before Finance Minister's reply, Congress member Shashi Tharoor described as Prime Minister's 're-election yojana' and also said the assistance offered by the NDA regime has been "too little and too late".

In order to ensure that everyone gets food and none goes to sleep hungry, FM Goyal said the budget provides foodgrains at affordable prices to the poor and middle class.

The Finance Minister said about Rs 1,70,000 crore were spent in 2018-19 which is almost "double" the amount of Rs 92,000 crore spent in 2013-14. (UNI)