Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and others during presention of the Union Budget 2023-24 in the Lok Sabha, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023.(Photo: PTI)
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the first Union Budget of the "Amrit Kaal" lays a strong foundation for the aspirations and resolutions of a developed India. Reacting to the Union Budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Prime Minister said that this Budget gives priority to the deprived and strives to fulfil the dreams of the aspirational society, the poor, the villages and the middle class. Mr Modi congratulated the finance minister and her team on a historic Budget.
The Prime Minister called the traditional artisans like carpenters, lohar (ironsmiths), sonar (goldsmiths), kumhars (potters), sculptors and many others the "creators of the nation". He said: "For the first time, the country has come up with many schemes as a tribute to the hard work and creation of these people. Arrangements have been made for their training, credit and marketing support for them. PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman i.e. PM VIKAS will bring a big change in the lives of crores of Vishwakarmas."
From women living in the cities to those in the villages, employed or homemakers, the Prime Minister noted that the government has taken significant steps such as Jal Jeevan Mission, Ujjwala Yojna, PM Awas Yojana and others that will further empower the welfare of women.
Modi stressed that miracles can be performed if women's self-help groups, a sector with extreme potential, are further strengthened.
Underlining that a new dimension has been added to women's self-help groups in the new Budget with the introduction of a new special savings scheme for women, the Prime Minister said that it will strengthen women, especially the homemaker from common families.
"This Budget will make cooperatives the fulcrum of the development of the rural economy. The government has created the world's largest food storage scheme in the cooperative sector. An ambitious scheme to form new primary cooperatives has also been announced in the Budget. This will expand the area of milk and fish production along with farming and farmers, animal husbandry and fishermen will get better prices for their produce."
Modi laid stress on the importance of replicating the success of digital payments in the agriculture sector. He said that this Budget includes a big plan for digital agriculture infrastructure.
Referring to the International Year of Millet, Mr Modi noted that there are many types of millet in India with multiple names.
"Special recognition of millet is necessary when it is reaching households all over the world. This superfood has been given a new identity of Shree-Anna," the Prime Minister said, underscoring that small farmers and tribal farmers in the country will get economic support along with a healthy life for the citizens of the country.
Modi mentioned that this Budget will give unprecedented expansion to "green growth", "green economy", "green infrastructure" and "green Jobs" for a sustainable future.
"In the Budget, we have laid a lot of emphasis on technology and the new economy. Aspirational India of today wants modern infrastructure in every field like road, rail, metro, port and waterways. Compared to 2014, investment in infrastructure has increased by more than 400 per cent," he said.
The Prime Minister underlined the potential of the middle class in realising the dreams of 2047. He said that in order to empower the middle class, the government has taken many significant decisions in the past years that have ensured ease of living.
Modi highlighted the reduction in tax rates as well as the simplification, transparency and speeding up of the processes. "Our government, which has always stood with the middle class, has given them huge tax relief," the Prime Minister added.