New Delhi: Terming the Union Budget as "visionary and progressive", BJP on Monday said that it gives priority to farmers and weaker sections and will also lead to empowerment of the youth. However, the opposition Congress criticised the Union Budget saying it has failed to create an "immediate stimulus" to address challenges of employment generation and agriculture sector.
"The budget is for everybody. Budget has been provided for infrastructure like ports, rail, airports. In the health
sector, for poor people, upto Rs one lakh cost of hospitalisation will be borne by the government. This is a
progressive and visionary budget," Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Similar views were echoed by other ministers of the ruling party with Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi calling
it a "perfect, people-friendly and progressive budget".
"India is a country where agriculture holds a prime place but it is after years that this has been reflected in a budget which gives priority to farmers as well as weaker sections. This budget is one which will also lead to empowerment of the youth," he said.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda termed it as a "positive and balanced" budget and said that there were several
initiatives for health and other social sectors which reflect Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'.
"My congratulations to the finance minister @arunjaitley for bringing such a good, positive and balanced budget. There are several initiatives for health and other social sectors which truly reflect PM Sh @narendramodi 's vision of Sabka Saath,Sabka Vikas.
"Proposed Health Protection Scheme will greatly benefit the common people of the country. This budget will help India achieve twin objectives of economic growth, equitable distribution of benefits and resources at an accelerated pace," Nadda said in a series of tweets.
He said that farmers, artisans, women, unorganised workers, people living below the poverty line and the youth of
the country will greatly benefit through this budget.
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, whose son Jayant Sinha is now Minister of State in the finance ministry, said it is good that the budget has focussed on real areas, noting that at the same time it also has many things for the corporates.
He said the overall philosophy has to take something from the super-rich for the benefit of the poor which is alright.
Sinha said that the Finance Minister has maintained fiscal discipline while also making provisions for measures
like Pay Commission, OROP and road and transport investment.
"By these measures, the boost which we wanted in the economy will be possible," he said.
Congress felt that the Budget won't help in employment generation.
"This is a budget of future clarifications. There is no immediate stimulus to create disposable income in the hands of people or to generate employment.
"Unfortunately, what was needed to be done has not been done. Biggest challenge which we face today is in employment and agriculture sectors. There is not anything on that," Congress leader Kamal Nath said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday presented in Parliament the Union Budget 2016-17 in which no change in
personal Income Tax slabs has been done while a 4-month Compliance Window for domestic black money holders has been
The budget has also given relief to tax payers who earn below Rs 5 lakh per annum and ceiling of rebate u/s 87A has
been raised to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,000. Jaitley also announced that a high-level committee headed by the Revenue Secretary will oversee creation of fresh liability using retro tax law while clean energy cess has been increased from Rs 200/ton to 400/ton on coal, lignite and peat.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the government has painted a very "broad and general" picture and it remains to be seen how everything works out in practice.
"The government has painted a very broad and general picture and it has to be seen how everything works out in
practice," he said.
Another Congress leader Manish Tewari slammed the budget, saying it high on rhetoric, flawed in comparisons and bereft of any ideas.
He said the budget which lacks imagination and services oligarchs also constrains the freedom of the central bank.
"In totality it is going to shrink the economy. Markets have given the budget a thumbsdown," Tewari said.