Millennium Post
Opinion

Stepping stone to new India

The Union Budget 2022-23 is all inclusive and appears to lay a sound foundation for self-reliant growth of the nation in coming decades

Stepping stone to new India
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With highest focus on welfare of the common man, the Union Budget 2022 is yet another testimony to the current government's commitment to the holistic development of the nation. Under the leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented a visionary Budget to build a self-reliant India, which will lay the foundation for a new India 25 years ahead.

Along with benefiting the poor through numerous public welfare schemes, this Budget aims to make modern technology available to the common people, including better connectivity to farmers and startups to the youth. Alongside the 'ease of doing business', special attention has been paid to 'ease of living'.

The Budget has ushered in a new confidence towards development by integrating the basic mantra of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka prayas'. Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in the Union Budget, 80 lakh families will be provided houses with the overall expenditure cost of Rs 48,000 crore in this financial year. Under the Jal Mission, clean water will be provided to 3.8 crore homes by spending Rs 60 thousand crores. A plan has been made to provide integrated benefits to women and children through Mission Shakti, Mission Vatsalya, Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0. Two lakh Anganwadis will be upgraded into Saksham Anganwadis. For the first time in the country, by starting Parvatmala scheme, connectivity will be increased in hilly and remote areas in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and Northeastern states, this will improve the standard of living of the people. Under Parvatmala scheme, work will start soon by issuing contracts for eight ropeway projects of 60 km length.

This Budget has been prepared keeping in mind the interest of the farmers. For the purchase of wheat and paddy in the current financial year, Rs 2.37 lakh crore will be paid directly in the account of farmers. In the coming days, a scheme to encourage chemical-free natural farming will be implemented. In the first phase, a 5-km corridor will be developed by selecting the land of farmers along the banks of the Ganges; this will increase the income of the farmers. At the cost of Rs 44,605 crore, Ken-Betwa link will be implemented to increase employment opportunities and provide irrigation access to farmers. This will provide the facility to irrigate more than nine lakh hectares of cultivable land. Apart from this, farmers and the local population will also get the opportunity for other types of livelihoods. In order to make use of the right variants of fruits and vegetables to the farmers, the Central government will give a consolidated package to the state governments so that the yield of the farmers can increase. In this Budget, special emphasis has been laid on making agriculture benefit from state-of-the-art technology. A plan is also included to provide proper benefits to the farmers by using high-tech and digital technology, and by taking their products to the market. For this, spraying of six nutrients and insecticides through drones will also be encouraged. Financial resources will be made available to agricultural startups and rural entrepreneurs through NABARD. Apart from this, Railways will develop efficient logistics for small farmers and entrepreneurs so that the supply chain of local produce can be developed in a proper manner. Under this, One Station, One Product scheme will be launched.

This Budget will prove to be a milestone in the direction of making a strong India on the global stage. It incorporates prospects for better infrastructure development, more investment, more growth and more jobs. It will also pave the way for green jobs in the area. Special attention has been paid to the development of infrastructure. To improve mobile connectivity, 5G spectrum will be made available to the common people by issuing contracts in the current financial year. The scheme of laying optical fiber to the villages will be implemented. Rs 20,000 crore will be spent on the expansion of 25,000-km highway within a year. Apart from this, highways will also be constructed in the border areas. To increase connectivity, 400 new technology-lens Vande Bharat trains will be made to run in the next three years. For the development of business and industry, 100 cargo terminals will also be built over the next three years. With this, the goods of need will be available throughout the year in hilly and inaccessible areas. New innovative avenues will be adopted to upgrade the metro system in cities. This is a step towards a self-reliant India.

In fact, this Budget has come with the prime objective of making India self-reliant. For example, in the defence sector, 68 per cent of equipment and materials will be procured from the domestic industry in the current financial year, whereas earlier 58 per cent of the capital procurement of the Budget was done from the domestic industry.

This will encourage the country's defence equipment and weapons manufacturing industry as well as increase employment opportunities. With a special focus on the security of the country, a defense Budget of Rs 5.25 lakh crore has been earmarked for an increase of ten per cent over the previous year. To take the textile sector to new heights, there are plans to set up seven big textile parks in the next three years. It will be provided with modern infrastructure, common facilities, transport and other facilities including research and development laboratories. This will create huge employment opportunities. Important steps have been taken in the direction of making a self-reliant India by giving tax incentives to business and industry including start-ups.

The Central government has presented a Budget to implement the plans for the coming 25 years, in which special attention has been paid to Ease of Living. Whether for people living on inaccessible hills or in plain areas, farmers or entrepreneurs or industrial workers — covering every perspective in this Budget, schemes are included to provide basic facilities to the people as well as to raise their standard of living. The most important thing is that by making a huge increase in the amount of investment, work has been done to give a boost to the economy. Gati Shakti Yojana will not only make the country strong but also create more than 60 lakh employment opportunities. This will raise the standard of living of the common people.

The writer is a member of Bihar Legislative Council and BJP's National Media Co-in-charge and Spokesperson. Views expressed are personal

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