New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Budget is pro-village, poor and farmers with focus on bringing about qualitative change in the country and alleviate poverty through a slew of time-bound programmes.
Commenting on the Budget 2016-17, he said special attention has been paid to agriculture, village infrastructure, healthcare, employment generation and Dalit entrepreneurship.
"This Budget is pro-village, pro-poor, pro-farmer. The main focus is to bringing about qualitative change in the country," Modi said, adding "there will be a big change in the lives of common people."
He said the Budget has laid a roadmap to alleviate poverty in a time-bound manner.
"Several steps have been taken for the farmers. The most important is Pradhan Mantri Krishi Yojana," he said.
Noting that electricity and roads are crucial for villages, the Prime Minister said by 2019, all villages of the country will be connected by roads, while all of them will be electrified by 2018.
For MNREGA, there has been the biggest allocation, he said. Talking about housing, Modi said every poor man dreams of owning a house and efforts will be made to strengthen this sector to ensure that the poor people realise their dreams.
At the same time, exemptions have been given to those living in rented accommodations, he noted.
This budget has provisions for realising the dreams of the common man, the Prime Minister said.
Referring to the problems faced by the poor, he said "there has been a lot of politics over the poor" and added it was time now for making efforts concentrating on uplifting them.
Pointing to the use of 'chulha' or earthen stoves and firewood for cooking by the poor, he said it adversely affected the health of the women as "cooking (on 'chulha') for a day amounts to smoking 400 cigarettes per day.
"Crores of such people will benefit through the scheme for free LPG connections. It will not only be beneficial for their health but also save the environment."
Modi said the budget also lays thrust on the national security by having provisions for boosting defence manufacturing and providing the armed forces with modern and potent equipment.
With regard to the privision of Rs 2 lakh crore for infrastructure development, the Prime Minister said it will benefit the border areas of the country.
He then spoke about creation of employment opportunities, including Dalit entrepreneurship, by providing appropriate eco-system. "I want the youth to be not job seekers, but job creators."
Referring to the proposals made for the healthcare sector, Modi said the government has taken several initiatives in the field. "We want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people, particularly the poor, in times of illness," he said.
Duty on components of dialysis machines has been reduced in the budget which will help availability of more such equipment, thus reducing travel cost for people who have to go to far-off places for the exercise.
The government was also giving priority to primary education. "A qualitative transformation of the education sector is what we are giving priority to," he said. PTI