New Delhi: Terming the Budget as one close to "dreams" of the people", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said its biggest focus is on villages, poor people, farmers, women and youth to ensure a qualitative change in their lives and alleviate poverty through a slew of time-bound programmes.
He said special attention has been paid to agriculture, village infrastructure, healthcare and employment generation besides entrepreneurship aspirations of Dalits and tribals.
"I want to assure the countrymen that this Budget is close to your dreams. To fulfill your dreams, this government has presented its commitment along with programmes," he said.
"The biggest focus of this Budget is village, poor, farmer, women and youth. "To bring a qualitative change in their lives, several schemes have been kept in the Budget," he said.
He said the Budget has laid a roadmap to alleviate poverty in a time-bound manner. "Several steps have been taken for the farmers. The most important is Pradhan Mantri Krishi Yojana," he said.
Noting that electricity and roads are crucial for villages, the Prime Minister said by 2019, all villages of the country will be connected by roads, while all of them will be electrified by 2018.
"This will give new energy to rural economy, new impetus and bring about a big change in the common man's life," he said, adding the biggest ever allocation has been made for rural job guarantee scheme MNREGA.
Talking about housing, Modi said every poor man dreams of owning a house and efforts will be made to strengthen this sector to ensure that the poor people realise their dreams. At the same time, exemptions have been given to those living in rented accommodations, he noted. Referring to the problems faced by the poor, he said "there has been a lot of politics over the poor".
Pointing to the use of 'chulha' (earthen stoves and firewood for cooking) by the poor, he said poor families use these which adversely affects the health of the women as well as their children.
"Cooking on 'chulha' a day amounts to smoking 400 cigarettes per day. Five crore of such people will benefit through the scheme for free LPG connections. It will not only be beneficial for their health but also save the environment," he said.
Modi said the budget also lays thrust on the national security by having provisions for boosting defence manufacturing and providing the armed forces with modern and potent equipment.
With regard to the privision of Rs 2 lakh crore for infrastructure development, the Prime Minister said it will benefit the border areas of the country.
He then spoke about efforts to create employment opportunities for which two initiatives have been taken -- 'Formalising the Informal' and 'Employing the employed'. "We are going to start this," he said.
Also, Modi said tax provisions are also aimed at creating an appropriate eco-eystem for his favourite 'Start-Up India, Stand-Up India' campaign.
"In our country, Dalits, Adivasis now want to become entrepreneurs. He does not want to job seeker but job creator. To fulfill these dreams, the governmnet has decided to establish a special Entrepreneur Hub," he said.