Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman has started her Budget 2021 speech in parliament. Ms Sitharaman said that the preparation of the budget was undertaken in circumstances like never before. She stated that the total impact of Atmanirbhar Bharat and measures by the Reserve Bank of India was Rs 27.1 lakh crore, which amounts to 30 per cent of GDP.
Atmanirbhar Bharat schemes announced in 2020 were like five mini budgets themselves, said the Finance Minister. She added that two more COVID-19 vaccines will arrive.
Ms Sitharaman is presenting the ninth budget of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in the Lok Sabha.
“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark” the Finance Minister quoted Rabindranath Tagore, adding that this moment in history is the dawn of a new era, where India is well-poised to be the land of promise and hope”.
Talking about the COVID-19 pandemic situation, she said that the country has the lowest mortality rate, which has been reflected in the economic recovery. Budget 2021 will provide new opportunities for economic recovery, according to Ms Sitharaman.
Ms Sitharaman proposed three steps for the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which involve creating institutional structures, monetising assets, and enhancing share of capex in state and central budgets. She announced Rs 20,000 crore for Development Financial Institution which aims for a portfolio of five lakh crore in three years.
The Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will be implemented with more budget. Economists and experts had high expectations for the allocation for the health sector. Finance Minister informed that Budget 2021 outlay for the health sector is over 2.33 lakh crore.
According to Ms Sitharaman, Budget 2021 proposals rest on six pillars. These are Health and Well-Being, Physical and Financial capital and infrastructure, Inclusive Development for Aspirational India, Reinvigorating Human Capital, Innovation and R&D, and Minimum Government, and Maximum Governance.