‘Our cronies are the common ‘janta’ of this country’: Finance Minister

February 13, 2021 | Updated 12:39 pm

‘Our cronies are the common ‘janta’ of this country’: Finance Minister

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday (February 13) replied to the Budget discussion in Lok Sabha at 10 am.

In her speech, the Finance Minister refuted claims that health, defence, MSME sectors were not given and on the contrary,  said the government has given adequate support to these sectors throughout the pandemic.

She said that throughout the pandemic the government had allowed extensions for tax filing to any business with special instruction given to the banks to communicate this with all account holders so that any business was able to survive the financial losses sustained during the pandemic.

Quoting figures she said that the amount spent on the welfare for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) had risen from ₹ 83,257 cr in 2020-21, compared to ₹ 1,26,259 in 2021-22 while the allocation for the Scheduled Tribes (STs) has increased from ₹ 53,653 cr from 2020-21 to ₹ 79,942 cr in 2021-22.

Furthermore, she also said that the government had helped the poor street vendors with assistance of up to ₹ 10000 of collateral-free working loans of one-year tenure, to approximately 50 lakh street vendors, to help resume their businesses in the urban areas, including surrounding peri-urban/rural areas.

Finance Minister also said that the Congress manifesto of the 2019 general elections had promised the same reforms which have been initiated under the three new farm laws. In addition, she dared the opposition to show whether even one APMC mandi had shut down after the implementation of farm laws.

Sitharaman also targetted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi stating that he only believes in demeaning the government and working hand in glove with a fringe group that works against the best interest of the nation.

The minister concluded her speech by saying that the opposition has nothing to show for their allegations and only believed in fake narratives to further their agenda.