New Delhi: Reacting to the budget and addressing the media, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday praised the Union Budget for "benefiting" all sections of society and said it has proved that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is dedicated to the aspirations of the country's youths, farmers and poor.
Amit Shah told reporters that the budget will spur growth, generate employment and also provide relief to the middle class, farmers and poor workers among others.
The BJP chief described the hike in income tax exemption announced by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal as "historic" and said it will not only provide tax relief to the middle class but also deepen their participation in the country's development.
Congratulating the government for announcing a Rs. 3 lakh crore outlay for the defence sector, Amit Shah said it is the highest so far. The country's security has always been a top priority for the BJP-led NDA dispensation, he said.
BJP ally and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan Friday dubbed the budget as the government's "second surgical strike", saying the first used bullets against the country's external enemies while this will use ballots to decimate the ruling NDA's rivals in the general election.
"This is not budget but surgical strike. The first used bullets to neutralise the country's external enemies. The second surgical strike will use ballots to decimate our rivals," the Lok Janshakti Party president told reporters, referring to the attack on terror launch pads across the border in Kashmir. He also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come back to power with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) winning more than 400 seats in the coming Lok Sabha election. Hailing the prime minister, he said the budget has provided relief to farmers, income taxpayers and significantly enhanced expenditure for scheduled castes, tribes and the poor. "There cannot be a better budget than this. Our rivals will be left speechless," he said.
Terming the interim Budget "historic", Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said it is aimed at strengthening the economy and will benefit all sections of society.
"Our government wants the country's economy to get stronger and that was aim of the Budget. I would call it a historic Budget. It would benefit all sections of society," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters outside Parliament.
Singh said the Opposition should welcome the Budget. "I advice the Opposition to welcome the Budget and it felt like a surgical strike on the Opposition. It was shell-shocked. It should be happy because the people are happy," he said.
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said the Budget will benefit the common man and the service class. "It benefits the poor population too. Such a Budget has been presented after many years and it would help in empowering people of this country," he said. "From health to education to farmers' welfare to gratuity, all areas have been covered and it would benefit the people," he added.
Tourism Minister K J Alphons lauded the government's Budget on Friday and said that "it is trailer for much bigger things to come".
Talking to reporters after the Budget was presented, Alphons said, "I think it is a fantastic budget for seemingly large number of people - the middle class, the lower middle class. I think this government has delivered more for the poor of this country than in the past 65 years.
"This is an incredible budget but this is only an interim budget. This is only a trailer for much bigger things to come. But look at the vision that the Prime Minister and the government has put before the country."
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Piyush Goyal for presenting a budget committed to "inclusive growth".
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on #Budget2019 : Opposition has no issues to talk about, they are scared of Modi Ji’s welfare schemes. We don’t do votebank politics, we do development politics. We are dedicated to take Indian farmers to new heights. pic.twitter.com/S87aY4IVQt— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2019