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Nirmala Sitharaman says Budget 2019 paints 'big picture' of new Modi govt

In her reply on the debate over the Union Budget 2019 on Wednesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at the Lok Sabha that the budget gives a "big picture" of the new Narendra Modi government that has been brought back to power after a resounding victory in the General Elections this year.

The minister added that the projected strength made in the Budget is realistic and reflective of the goals of the government. In her reply at the Lok Sabha, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "This Budget certainly comes at a time when an Interim Budget had already been presented and it's the last year of the 14th Finance Commission. This Budget has two bookends and it gives a big picture of this newly-elected government which has returned to power with a bigger mandate."

She spoke about the farmers and said that the Budget took care of the 'kisaan' of the country. "We have ensured cash transfers of Rs 6,000 for all farmers throughout the country and not just a few," she said.

The Finance Minister also spoke about the government's commitment towards the education and health sectors. "The Budget 2019-20 reflects the commitment of this government to substantially boost investment in agriculture, social sector, particularly in education and health, keeping the fiscal deficit at 3.3% of GDP as against 3.4% which was envisaged in the Interim Budget," she said.

Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden Budget was condemned by opposition leaders such as Shashi Tharoor and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. "There is nothing new, it is a repetition of old promises. They are talking about new India but the Budget is the same old wine in a new bottle. There is no plan for employment generation, no new initiatives," said Chowdhury.

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