3 min read.Updated: 13 Feb 2021, 12:42 PM IST Edited By Meghna Sen
Replying to the general discussion on the Union Budget, FM Sitharaman said that the Covid-19 pandemic did not deter the government from taking decisions on reforms to boost the economy
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is replying to the discussion on the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha today. Saturday also marks the end of the first part of the Budget session of the Parliament.
Here are the live updates from FM Sitharaman's speech in Parliament:
Replying to the general discussion on the Union Budget, FM Sitharaman said that the Covid-19 pandemic did not deter the government from taking decisions on reforms to boost the economy.
On government taking up reforms necessary to sustain long-term growth, the Finance Minister said, "Stimulus plus reforms - an opportunity has been taken out of pandemic situation. A challenging situation like pandemic didn't deter govt from taking up reforms that are going to be necessary for sustaining long term growth for this country."
FM Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the Union Budget has set the pace for India to become Aatmanirbhar. Reforms will lay the path for making India one of the top economies of the world, the FM added.
FM Sitharaman said Budget 2021-22 draws from the experience of the prime minister when he was chief minister when he saw so many revivals happening at that time.
"This Budget draws from the experience of the PM when he was CM - on the ground in Gujarat, seen so many revivals happening at a time when the license quota raj was going away post-1991 & then based on that experience, commitment to reform was blended into this Budget," she added.
On BJP consistently believing in India, the FM, in reply to the discussion on Budget 2021 in Lok Sabha said, "Respecting Indian entrepreneurial skills, Indian managerial skills, Indian trade skills, Indian business skills, Indian youth, Jana Sangh onwards, BJP has consistently believed in India. We didn't borrow something from somewhere and gave a hybrid."
On agricultural allocation in the budget, the FM said, "Data in the budget regarding agriculture allocation has been 'misread'. A total of ₹1.15 lakh crore has been transferred to 10.75 crore farmers through the PMKSY."
On allocations to the core health, FM Sitharaman said, "I will firmly establish that in spite of bringing water and sanitation, the allocations to the core health has not come down. On the contrary, it has gone up."
"In the Budget speech, I very clearly said, we're taking a holistic approach to health. It is addressing preventive health, it is addressing curative health, it is also addressing well-being. Otherwise, you are not going to get holistic health-related governance," the Finance Minister said.
Speaking about the PM, FM Sitharaman said Modi is working for the Dalits, backward and poor people. "People of India believe, have faith in the prime minister," Sitharaman said.
On defence allocation, FM Sitharaman says, "There is mention about Defence getting no mention in speech, why hiding details about Defence?... ₹1,16,931 cr Defence expenditure in 2013-14, this being so huge, unless we pair it down into 3 compartments, you aren't going to get a true picture-Revenue, Capital, Pension."
"I'll read up figures to say what's the allocation now...Under revenue ₹1,16,931 crores in 2013-14, ₹86,741 crores capital in 2013-14, under pensions ₹44,500 in 2013-14. What is it now? ₹2,09,319 under revenue, ₹1,13,734 under capital & ₹1,33,825 under pension," Sitharaman added.
On Rahul Gandhi's 'Hum 2 Hamare 2' remark, the Finance Minister said, "'Hum 2 hamare 2' is that - we're 2 people taking care of party and there are 2 other people who I've to take care, daughter and damad will take care of that. We don't do that. ₹10,000 is given to 50 lakh street traders as working capital for 1 year. They aren't anyone's cronies."