2020 Union Budget is for Aspirational India: FM Sitharaman

The 2020 Union Budget is for Aspirational India for all sections of the society to better their quality of living with access to health, education and better jobs, says Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs. The budget is for a Society that is both humane and compassionate where Antyodaya is an article of faith, she added. Besides the guiding principle of “Ease of Living,”  farmer-friendly initiatives such as Agriculture credit target of Rs 15 lakh crore for 2020-21;“Kisan Rail” and “Krishi Udaan” for a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables; and expansion of PM-KUSUM to provide 20 lakh farmers for setting up stand-alone solar pumps are proposed. The Budget proposes more than 20,000 empanelled hospitals under Ayushman Bharat Yojana for the people whose annual earnings are less than 5 lakh, expansion of Jan Aushadhi Kendra Scheme to all districts offering 2,000 medicines and 300 surgical by 2024. Infrastructure are also prioritized with 100 more airports by 2024 to support Udaan scheme; and operation of 150 passenger trains to be done through PPP mode. Apprenticeship embedded courses through 150 higher educational institutions by March 2021 and a proposal to establish the Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation are among the schemed proposed in the budget. More than Rs 2.83 lakh crore would be spent on Agriculture, Rural Development, Irrigation and allied activities as farmers and rural poor continue to remain the key focus of the Government. Reaffirming the resolve of doubling farmers’ income in next two years, she said, “Government has already provided resilience for 6.11 crore farmers insured under PM Fasal Bima Yojana. Agriculture credit target for the year 2020-21 has been set at Rs 15 lakh crore”. All eligible beneficiaries of PM-KISAN will be covered under the KCC scheme. Moreover, comprehensive measures for one hundred water-stressed districts, proposal to expand PM-KUSUM to provide 20 lakh farmers for setting up stand-alone solar pumps and for another 15 lakh farmers to solarise their grid-connected pump sets, setting up of efficient warehouses at the block/taluk level and in Horticulture sector with focus on “one product one district” for better marketing and export are some of the steps in that direction, PIB release added. On the Infrastructure sector, as highlighted by the Prime Minister that Rs 100 lakh crore would be invested over the next 5 years, the National Infrastructure Pipeline has launched on 31st December 2019 of Rs 103 lakh crore. It consists of more than 6500 projects across sectors and are classified as per their size and stage of development. “About Rs 22,000 crore has already been provided as support to Infrastructure Pipeline”, Sitharaman said. Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken. This will include the development of 2500 Km access control highways, 9000 Km of economic corridors, 2000 Km of coastal and land port roads and 2000 Km of strategic highways. Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages to be completed by 2023.Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway also be started. It is proposed to monetise at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6000 Km before 2024. The focus of the budget, as far as the government is concerned, was at revising the economy, boosting domestic consumption, provide incentives to local manufacturing as well as creating professional and other opportunities for India’s bulging youth population.

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