The Union Budget 2021-22 has come at a time when India’s economy is striving to recover from the consequences of the lockdown induced by Covid-19. It was put forward by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman at Parliament on Monday. She said the new budget covers six concerns – from healthcare to infrastructure.
Addressing the audience at the event, Sitharaman announced a total amount of around Rs 2 lakh crore to be spent on healthcare. Apart from that, Rs 35,000 crore for the Covid-19 vaccine and Rs 1.10 lakh crore outlay for railways. She said that the government targets to complete 11,000 km of national highway infrastructure this year.
Sitharaman also announced that senior citizens have been saved from income tax under certain conditions and said new rules will be notified for removal of double taxation for Non-Residential Indians. She also conveyed a reduction in the time period of tax assessments among other measures.
Sitharaman further said that the government is determined about farmers’ welfare. She added that the procurement of crops like paddy, wheat, pulses and cotton has jumped multifold in the last six years.
A summary of annual economic development across the country during the financial year 2020-21 has been provided in the annual document by the Ministry of Finance under the guidance of Chief Economic Advisor KV Subramanian.
It was Sitharaman’s third budget under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As a significant step taken by the government, this year’s Budget was paperless. For the first time since independence, the papers did not get printed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the nation after the Budget announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it covers an “all-round development.” “From Covid-related reforms to Atmanirbhar resolve, we moved ahead with this mantra in Budget 2021. It’s an active and not a reactive budget,” he added, congratulating the Ministry of Finance.