13 Feb 2021: 2021 Union Budget sets pace for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat': Nirmala Sitharaman
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the Union Budget 2021-22 has set the pace for India to become Aatmanirbhar Bharat, replying to debate on the Budget in Lok Sabha.
She said even the COVID-19 pandemic didn't deter the government from launching reforms to achieve India's long-term goals. Sitharaman presented a Rs. 34.5 lakh crore Budget for 2021-22 on February 1.
Details: Reforms for India to become one of world's fastest-growing economies
The Finance Minister asserted that the reforms undertaken by the government will pave the path for the country to become one of the world's fastest-growing economies, reiterating the 2021 Budget will help India become Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant).
Earlier this month, Sitharaman presented the Budget that focused on "health, hope, and growth" in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fact: 'An opportunity has been taken out of pandemic situation'
"Stimulus plus reforms - an opportunity has been taken out of pandemic situation. A challenging situation like pandemic didn't deter government from taking up reforms that are going to be necessary for sustaining long term growth for this country," said Sitharaman in Lok Sabha.
Budget: The Union Budget was built on six key pillars
Notably, the 2021-22 Union Budget was built on six key pillars: healthcare and wellbeing, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, agriculture, human capital, innovation and R&D, and minimum government-maximum governance.
Interestingly, it was also the first paperless Union Budget. Sitharaman presented the Budget with a "Made-in-India" tablet that contained the digital copies of the Budget 2021 documents.
On 2021 Budget: Budget draws from Modi's experience when he was Gujarat CM
Further speaking about the 2021 Union Budget, the Finance Minister said, "This Budget draws from the experience of the Prime Minister when he was Chief Minister - on the ground in Gujarat, seen so many revivals happening at a time when the license quota raj was going away post-1991."
Sitharaman added, "Based on that experience, commitment to reform was blended into this Budget,"
Scathing Attack: 'Our cronies are the common people,' says Sitharaman, attacking critics
Sitharaman on Saturday also launched a strong attack on those who have criticized PM Narendra Modi-led government, accusing it of crony capitalism, mishandling the farmers' agitation against the new farm laws, and ignoring the poor.
"Who are our (Modi government's) cronies? Our cronies are the common janta (people) of this country," she said, hitting out at the critics, particularly targeting Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.
Statement: 'In spite of what we're doing, false narrative is created'
"Where are the cronies? They are hiding probably in the shadow of that party which has been rejected by the people (a reference to the Congress)," said the Finance Minister.
"In spite of what we are doing for the poor and the steps taken for helping the poor and needy of this country...a false narrative is created," added Sitharaman.
On Gandhi: 'He is insulting everyone': Sitharaman on Gandhi
Further attacking Gandhi for criticizing the Modi government over the contentious central farm laws, Sitharaman said, "Have APMCs (mandis) been closed after the introduction of the Farmers Act? He (Gandhi) was speaking like they had been."
"They (new laws) are also helping improve the condition of APMCs. He (Gandhi) is insulting everyone...whether President, Prime Minister or Speaker...constantly lying and insulting the country," Sitharaman said.