Terming the Union budget 'historic', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the first budget in 'Amrit Kaal' has established a strong base to fulfil the resolve of a developed India and dreams of the aspirational society, including the poor and the middle class.
Presenting the Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday raised the personal income tax rebate limit, doled out sops on small savings and announced one of the biggest hikes in capital spending in the past decade.
In his first reaction to the Budget for 2023-24 fiscal, Modi said in order to empower the middle class, the government has taken many significant decisions in the past years that have ensured ease of living.
The prime minister underlined the potential of the middle class in realising the dreams of 2047.
Modi also highlighted the reduction in tax rates as well as the simplification, transparency and speeding up of processes.
"Our government that always stood with the middle class has given huge tax relief to them," Modi said.
The prime minister said the first budget in 'Amrit Kaal' has established a strong base to fulfil the aspirations and resolve of a developed India.
He said this budget gives priority to the deprived and strives to fulfil the dreams of the aspirational society -- the poor, villages and the middle class.
The prime minister congratulated Sitharaman and her team for a 'historic' budget.
Modi called the traditional artisans such as carpenters, iron smiths, goldsmiths, potters, sculptors and many others as the creators of the nation.
"For the first time, the country has come up with many schemes as a tribute to the hard work and creation of these people. Arrangements have been made for training, credit and market support to them. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman, that is, PM ViKaS will bring a big change in the lives of crores of 'Vishwakarmas'," Modi said.
He said for the women living in the cities to villages, employed to homemakers, the government has taken significant steps such as Jal Jeevan Mission, Ujjwala Yojna and PM Awas Yojana etc., that will further empower the welfare of women.
He emphasised that miracles can be performed if women self-help groups, which is a sector with extreme potential, are further strengthened.
Underlining that a new dimension has been added to women self-help groups in the new budget with the introduction of a special savings scheme, the prime minister said it will strengthen women especially the homemaker from common families.
This budget, the prime minister said, will make cooperatives a fulcrum of development of the rural economy.
The government, he said, has come up with the world's largest food storage scheme in the co-operative sector.
An ambitious scheme to form new primary co-operatives has also been announced in the budget, Modi said.
This will expand the area of milk and fish production along with farming, and farmers, animal husbandry and fishermen will get better prices for their produce, he said.
Emphasising the need to replicate the success of digital payments in the agriculture sector, the prime minister said this budget comes with a big plan for digital agriculture infrastructure.
Noting that the world is celebrating the International Year of Millets, Modi said there are many types of millets in India with multiple names.
The prime minister said special recognition of millets is necessary when it is reaching households all over the world.
"This superfood has been given a new identity of 'Shree-Anna'," Modi said, as he underlined that small farmers and tribal farmers of the country will get economic support.
This budget, Modi said, will give an unprecedented expansion to green growth, green economy, green infrastructure, and green jobs, for a sustainable future.
"In the budget, we have laid a lot of emphasis on technology and the new economy. Aspirational India of today wants modern infrastructure in every field like road, rail, metro, port, and waterways. Compared to 2014, investment in infrastructure has increased by more than 400 per cent," Modi said.
The prime minister said the unprecedented investment of Rs 10 lakh crores on infrastructure will give new energy and speed to India's development.
He asserted that these investments will create new employment opportunities for the youth, thereby providing new income opportunities to a large section of the population.
In his remarks, the prime minister also touched upon the ease of doing business which is taken forward through the campaign of credit support and reforms for industries.
"An additional loan guarantee of Rs 2 lakh crore has been arranged for MSMEs," he said, noting that increasing the limit of presumptive tax will help MSMEs to grow.
He also said a new arrangement has been made for timely payments by big companies to MSMEs.
"I once again congratulate Nirmala ji and her entire team for this all-encompassing budget that would give speed to building a developed India," Modi said.
"In 2047, we will make a prosperous India, a capable India, a prosperous India in every way. Let us take this journey forward," he added.