Budget shows govt's dedication to aspirations of poor, youth, farmers: Shah

BJP president Amit Shah Friday hailed the interim budget for "benefiting" all sections of the society and asserting that it has underscored the Modi government's dedication to the aspirations of the country's youth, farmers and the poor.

The budget touches everybody, will spur growth and generate employment, he told reporters and also praised the government for "maintaining" fiscal discipline.

"This budget gives relief to every section of society in some way," he said, referring to its announcements and schemes for farmers, unorganised sector workers and income tax payers.

With its sops for farmers and the middle class- two crucial voting blocs- among others, the BJP believes that the budget will it woo them ahead of the Lok Sabha election.

The perceived farm crisis is said to be a key reason for the saffron party's defeat in the state elections where it also suffered reverses in urban centres.

Shah dubbed the raising of income tax exemption to Rs 5 lakh as "historic", saying the Modi government has surpassed the expectation of the middle class by announcing a number of concessions for it.

The decision to provide Rs 6000 annually to farmers will be a "milestone" towards meeting the government's goal of doubling their income by 2022, he said, adding that a loan waiver helps peasants only once and merely those who take loans while this scheme will benefit all of them and every year.

"The budget has proved that the Modi government is dedicated to the aspirations of the country's youths, farmers and poor," the BJP chief said.

Congratulating the government for announcing a Rs 3 lakh crore outlay for the defence sector, Shah said it is the highest so far and added that the country's security has always been a top priority for the BJP-led NDA dispensation.

He also hailed the setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for boosting cow conservation and productivity, saying icons like Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave had recognised the animal's significance to the Indian economy and society.

The increase in budgetary allocation for the Northeastern states by over 21 per cent shows the government's commitment to the remote region which, he said, has seen a big boost to its rail and air connectivity under its tenure.

The BJP chief said enhanced income tax exemption announced by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will not only provide tax relief to the middle class but also deepen their participation in the country's development.

He also praised measures like monthly pension of Rs 3000 for the over 10 crore poor workers after 60 years of age, creation of a separate fishery department and schemes for women.

Relaxation in interest on loan for farmers and more for those who pay their debt in time is a big step for their welfare, he said.