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Modi assures more sops and benefits in full budget after the elections

Modi said that his government has been able to address the problem of financial distress of the farmers from the roots in the Interim Budget 2019

Avishek Rakshit  |  Kolkata 

narendra modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday hailed the interim Budget 2019-20 as a “historic” step towards empowering peasants, workmen and the middle class, and promised more benefits for all sections in the full Budget if his party returned to power after the Lok Sabha polls.

In his presentation of the interim Budget in the Lok Sabha on Friday, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had announced an income support scheme for farmers, a pension scheme for workers in the unorganised sector, and a rebate for taxpayers with a taxable income of up to Rs 5 lakh, among other measures, making a strong pitch for the re-election of the National Democratic Alliance government.

“The interim Budget was just a trailer,” the Prime Minister said at a rally in Durgapur, West Bengal. “Wait till we bring out the regular Budget, which will have much more to offer and help the country emerge as a new India. Be it taxes or reaching out to farmers, the Budget was prepared keeping in mind that everybody benefits. It truly reflects our philosophy of sabka saath, sabka vikas.”

The PM said his government had been able to address the financial distress of farmers. Instead of announcing a one-time loan waiver for farmers, he said, the government had come up with a long-term solution whereby assistance worth Rs 7.5 trillion would be given to them in the next 10 years.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, which Modi claimed was the biggest scheme for farmers since independence, the government will provide a direct income support of Rs 6,000 in a year to farmers with land holding up to 2 hectares.

He claimed that under the Congress’ rule, only 20-30 million farmers were beneficiaries of any financial scheme or assistance, but the NDA government had expanded their reach to 120 million.

On income tax-related benefits announced in the interim Budget, Modi said, “The demand for income tax exemption for individuals with an annual income up to Rs 5 lakh had been pending for ages. While no previous government dared to implement it, we did so.”

Modi alleged that 24 big infrastructural projects worth Rs 90,000 crore in West Bengal had been stuck as the state government was not cooperating with the Centre.

“The Trinamool Congress (TMC) will not take up any such projects where syndicates aren’t there and they don’t stand to gain,” he alleged.

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The Prime Minister said the Mamata Banerjee-led state government had been preventing several central schemes like Ayushman Bharat, RERA and others to reach the poor as she was wary of losing her hold on the people of West Bengal.

Referring to the ongoing CBI investigation in several chit fund scams and BJP’s allegations on the TMC’s involvement in such cases, Modi said, “If you (Mamata Banerjee) haven’t done anything wrong, why are you afraid of the agencies probing it? Even I was grilled for nine hours in Gujarat by the CBI, but I never told the CBI to go out of the state – I respect these agencies.”

Earlier in the day, at a separate rally in Thakurnagar, the PM cut short his speech after a stampede-like situation broke out at the venue in which many people were injured. Later, at the Durgapur rally, Modi apologised to the people for the incident.

First Published: Sat, February 02 2019. 17:25 IST