New Delhi, Feb 12: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday gave its nod to the Finance Bill 2019.
Replying to the three-and-half hour debate, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the Modi government is committed to the welfare of the middle class, poor and farming community.
He exuded confidence of a certain BJP-led NDA win in the fast approaching elections and said the Finance Bill as brought now is a "very small" and the main draft law dealing with tax proposals and other details will come only in July "Once we are back in power".
His remarks were yelled by Opposition members, especially from the Congress while the treasury bench members greeted the Minister's remarks with thumping of desks.
The Finance Minister said the sincerity shown by the Modi government towards farm community is not for the first time as in the words of father of Green Revolution M S Swaminathan, even under Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister - when Rajnath Singh was Agriculture Minister, the first National Commission for Farmers was set up.
To certain questions raised by RSP member N K Premachandran, the Minister said there was "no tax proposals" in the Interim Budget and the fact that there was no tax proposals have been appreciated widely.
"We only gave a little concession to the middle class in terms of tax rebates and this was definitely much better than the concessions to SUV vehicle buyers given by the Congress government in its last Interim Budget in 2014," he said.
Tax base has increased in last few years, the Minister said adding the government has also able to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of GDP but it settled to 3.4 per cent only after the government announced the new farmers support scheme.
The Minister said as the life of 16th Lok Sabha would come to an end soon, he had a good news to share with members and pointed out that the inflation rate has lowered to 18-month low at 2.05 per cent in the first month of January 2019 due to fall in food prices.
He further said the industrial production at the same time grew by 2.4 per cent in December 2018. (UNI)