New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Rejecting the opposition’s allegations that the Interim Budget was a please-all one ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said all the announcements were consistent with the government’s policies and endeavours over the last five years.
“If you see the track record of this government for the last five years, we have consistently passed on the benefits to our taxpayers. You saw the income tax limit on interest increasing from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh, tax exemption slab increasing from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh and then further rebate up to Rs 3 lakh,” Goyal told mediapersons here.
“This government has worked for the welfare of the poorest of the poor, of the middle class, of farmers, of unorganised sector… This government has worked consistently for the benefit of every section of the society.
“This has been a government which has continuously shared the benefits of increased tax collection with all of you. The rest is for the people to decide,” he said responding to the criticism by opposition over the income tax exemption and farmers’ subsidy.
The Finance Minister said the Narendra Modi government “consistently for four years” has given budgets which “we have met and our figures of actuals are very close to the revised figures”. He said the government never let go of the fiscal discipline despite welfare allocations.
Hitting at the Congress, he said as to why in its 10 years of rule the UPA government “did not do anything” for the farmers.
“The only thing they did was in 2008 when they announced a loan waiver of Rs 70,000 crore, but did not provide a single rupee in the budget. They left it for the next government to provide for it. In the end, they gave Rs 52,000 crore to a few farmers. Even in that, loans of the people who were not eligible or who were not farmers were waived,” he said.
He pointed out that the Modi government has allocated Rs 75,000 crore in just one year for Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), under which Rs 6,000 per annum would be disbursed to farmers with small landholdings as a supporting amount.
“As this scheme would proceed, it would spend 7.5 lakh crore rupees over the next 10 years on farmers. Compare this with Rs 52,000 crore in 10 years of the UPA,” he said.
“Those sitting in air-conditioned rooms can’t understand farmers’ problems. Our Prime Minister Modi has come up from poverty and lives among the farmers,” he said.