Mumbai, (The Hindu):Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday hailed the Union Budget, calling it a boost to infrastructure, economy, health care, and job creation.
Mr. Fadnavis said the provision of 40,000 crore for enhancing transportation in Mumbai with expansion of the suburban railway network and new airports will provide an impetus to the infrastructure and the economy.
He termed the decision to increase farmers’ income historic. “With an aim to put more money in farmers’ pockets, the Centre has decided to increase the minimum support price (MSP) of all crops by at least 1.5 times of the production cost.”
He also welcomed the target of 3 lakh crore for loan disbursement under the Mudra scheme. “The Mudra loan has been given to over 10 crore people, of whom seven crore are women and five crore are from the scheduled caste and other backward classes.” Mr. Fadnavis hailed the initiative to launch the national health protection scheme to cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable people. “This is the world’s largest health care initiative. Under the new scheme, 50 crore people would get free health care benefits up to 5 lakh per family.”
Policy failures: Congress
Opposition parties dubbed the budget as a manifestation of the Centre’s policy failures. “The government is expert in making big promises. It has been announcing numbers, but in reality, it has increased the tax burden, inflation, and disappointed the people,” said Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan.
The NCP described the budget as the one made for a handful of capitalists. “The country is facing financial indiscipline. The budget has done very little to farmers and workers, but has instead chosen to shut down people-friendly schemes of the previous government,” said party’s state president Sunil Tatkare. “The budget proposals will pinch the pocket of the common man,” party spokesman Nawab Malik said.
Keeping in mind the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre has presented an election budget, Shiv Sena leaders said. “This is a budget for the election. Hence, the focus has been shifted from industries to farmers, healthcare, and education,” Sena MP Arvind Sawant said.
Farmer organisations too have termed it an attempt to disguise. “The government must clarify the definition of increasing the MSP by 1.5 times because the State always considers expenditure on agriculture less than actual,” said Ravikant Tupkar of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.
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