❒ Budget Launch for 2020-21
Today (01.02.2020), the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented budget for the 2nd time in the parliament along with her team. The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was accompanied by her deputy Finance Minister Anurag Thakur and other officials of her ministry.
Prior to the budget declaration she and her team met President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday (01.02.2020). After the meeting with president, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Union Budget 2020-21 ahead of its presentation in Parliament.
“As per tradition, Finance Minister @nsitharaman calls on President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan before presenting the Union Budget,” tweeted the President of India’s handle, along with two photos from the meeting.
❒ Nirmala Sitharaman Budget Briefcase
Similar to last year, FM Sitharaman opted for a traditional ‘bahi-khata’ to carry budget documents rather than the briefcase which was carried earlier by other Finance Ministers. She was looking very elegant dressed in a crisp yellow silk saree, carried the documents wrapped in a red silk cloth, respectfully decorated with the golden Indian emblem.
The presentation time for the Union Budget 2020 is scheduled to be at 11 am today with Sitharaman beginning it with an address to the speaker of Lok Sabha. Normally, the time taken for the entire presentation stands for 90 to 120 minutes.
It was revealed that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rebound and grow at a rate of 6 to 6.5 percent in the next financial year 2020-21, according to the Economic Survey laid in Parliament on Friday (30.01.2020).
❒ Latest News Updates, Budget 2020
After quoting Kashmiri poet Dinanath Kaul Nadim in her speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar as she presented Budget 2020 in Lok Sabha on Saturday (February 1). Sitharaman quoted the Tamil poet on health, wealth, farm productivity, happiness and security as imperatives of a country. She said, “There are 5 jewels for a good country, according to Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, which are:
- No epidemics.
- It should have wealth.
- It should have a good crop.
- It should have happiness.
- It should have security and safety.”
Sitharaman then linked the ‘five jewels to government reforms such as Ayushman Bharat, wealth creators being respected, PM Kisan doubling income, ease of living, national security while delivering the India budget 2020 speech.
The finance minister has taken three themes for the Union Budget 2020 – aspirational India, economic development and caring society. She started her speech by pointing out that the Indian voters reposed their faith in the Narendra Modi government in the 2019 Lok Sabha election by giving a massive majority to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
Presenting Budget 2020, Finance Minister Sitharaman said Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model such that perishable goods can be transported quickly.
Sitharaman said that “To build a flawless national cold supply chain for perishables, Indian Railways will be setting up Kisan Rail through PPP model so that perishable goods can be transported quickly.”
The Finance Minister also announced that 550 wi-fi facilities have been commissioned at railway stations, adding that 1,150 trains will be run in PPP mode and four stations to be redeveloped with help of private sector.
FM Sitharaman also said that a governance framework for ports will be set up, adding to it she had also said that “It will also look at one major port and will be listed on the stock exchanges.”
The government will provide 20 per cent equity for Bengaluru Suburban Transportation Project which will be an Rs 18,600 crore project, the FM said, adding that an allocation of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for transport infrastructure will be provided in FY2020-21.
The FM also announced the setting up of 100 new airports by 2024 and the aim to double the fleet of commercial flights to 1,200.
It is said by the experts that it is the best budget of a decade.