The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Interim Budget, amid walkout by key Opposition parties which alleged that the government had deviated from established conventions and rolled out several incentives to woo voters ahead of the general elections. Replying to the debate on the Budget, finance minister Piyush Goyal said the government had initiated a lot of steps over the past four-and-a-half years for the poor, farmers and middle class, and the interim Budget was a logical continuation of those efforts. Goyal accused the Congress of betraying the nation by opposing the government’s policies for the poor and farmers.
On the Opposition’s criticism that the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi was too low to alleviate farm distress, Goyal said those living in palaces would never understand the importance of Rs 2,000 every four months and hence they “belittle” the scheme. He slammed the Congress for its claim that the NDA government drifted from the fiscal consolidation path, saying it was the current regime that has brought down the fiscal deficit from 4.5% of the GDP in FY14 to 3.4% in FY19.
The fiscal deficit had touched 6.2% in 2009-10 when the UPA was in power.