As Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the ninth budget of the Modi Government in the Lok Sabha on Monday, all eyes were fixated on the news as to what it would bring to the people of the country ravaged by a pandemic.
The Finance Minister, while presenting the Budget 2021 in Parliament today, said that it was prepared in circumstances – like never before. She said that the BJP government was totally prepared to support and facilitate a reset of the economy. The budget, she said, will kick start the sluggish economy hit by an unprecedented pandemic.
According to her, the total impact of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Covid-19 relief measures was₹27.1 lakh crore, which amounts to 13 percent of the GDP.
More focus has been given to the health sector to emerge from a virus pandemic and successful vaccination of the entire population. The farmers’ welfare and the polls ahead also formed an integral part of the budget.
In her Budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman also announced that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector has been raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent. Sitharaman mentioned that foreign ownership and control with safeguards will be allowed. This announcement is an amendment to the Insurance Act 1938.
The Finance Minister also announced Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccines. Sitharaman said that two more vaccines were likely to come in this year, apart from Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute’s Covishield.
Another key element of her budget speech included the promise made for the farmers. The Finance Minister said she has set a target of ₹ 16.5 lakh crore as agricultural credit to ease the problems of the farmers of the country.
A great boost to senior citizens in the budget is also catching everyone’s eyes. Seniors above the age of 75 who are on pension are exempted from filing their tax return.
In the meantime, many have called out to the government to support the private sector too apart from stepping up for the government sectors.