#Budget2022 people friendly, says PM; Rahul Gandhi calls it zero-sum
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hailed the Union Budget 2022-23 as "people-friendly and progressive." The Budget--presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman--is full of new possibilities of more infrastructure, more investment, more growth, and more jobs, Modi said. "This Budget, along with strengthening the economy, will create many new opportunities for the common man," the PM added.
- The reaction came after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for 2022-23 in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
- Through the $529.7 billion Budget, Sitharaman stepped up investment in highways and affordable housing.
- Meanwhile, the government has projected GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth of 8-8.5%, compared to an estimated 9.2% in the current fiscal and a contraction of 6.2% in the previous fiscal.
Modi said an important aspect of this Budget is the welfare of the poor. "Every poor person should have a pucca house, water from the tap, toilet, gas facility, all these have been given special attention," he said. Modi also highlighted the Parvatmala scheme, which envisages a "modern system of transportation on the mountains" of Himachal, Uttarakhand, Jammu, and Kashmir, North East.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed it a zero-sum budget. "M0di G0vernment's Zer0 Sum Budget! Nothing for - Salaried class - Middle class - The poor & deprived - Youth - Farmers - MSMEs," Gandhi wrote on Twitter.
Congress' Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said, "The Budget is only for the rich, it has nothing for the poor." Citing Mahabharata, Kharge added, "It's Arjuna and Dronacharya's budget, not Eklavya's." Congress' KC Venugopal alleged the government is trying to legalize cryptocurrency through the Budget. "Without legislation, via budget, they're legalizing crypto, this is not a right parliamentary practice," he said.
Meanwhile, several industrialists reacted positively to the Budget. "Brevity has always been a virtue. @nsitharaman's shortest budget address may prove to be the most impactful," Mahindra Group Chairperson Anand Mahindra tweeted. Rajeev Sharma, Chief Strategy Officer, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd termed it a "growth-oriented Budget." "The budget has demonstrated a good balance between today's needs and the future's demand," Sharma added.
Biocon's Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said the 35% increase in capital expenditure would help to create infrastructure and jobs. "The Budget's focus on ensuring regulatory ease by promoting digital trust and digital compliance steps is in the right direction," she said. However, she expressed concern over "absence of any fiscal stimulus for the MSME & Services sector that has borne the brunt of the pandemic."
Meanwhile, India's crypto industry welcomed the Centre's decision to impose a 30% tax on the transfer of any virtual digital assets. They also welcomed the decision to introduce central bank digital currency (CBDC) to accelerate digitization. "Taxation of Virtual Digital Assets or crypto is a step in the right direction...Great news for crypto investors in India," tweeted CoinDCX's Chief Executive Officer Sumit Gupta.