“Our Prime Minister has laid before us Ease of Living as a goal to be achieved on behalf of all citizens”, said the Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament today. With this backdrop, our government shall work towards taking the country forward so that we can leapfrog to the next level of health, prosperity and wellbeing, she added.
This budget, with the Central Tenet of Ease of Living for all citizens, is woven around three prominent themes:
Aspirational India in which all sections of the society seek better standards of living, with access to health, education and better jobs. Its components are Agriculture Irrigation and Rural development; Wellness, Water & Sanitation; and Education & Skills.
Economic Development for all, indicated in the Prime Minister’s exhortation of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas”. This would entail pervasive economic reforms and yielding more space for the private sector to ensure higher productivity and greater efficiency. Three components of which are Industry, Commerce and Investment; Infrastructure; and the New Economy.
· A Caring Society, based on Antyodaya, which is both humane and compassionate. Three components of which are Women & Child, Social Welfare; Culture and Tourism and Environment & Climate Change.
These three broad themes are held together by a corruption free, policy-driven good governance and a clean and sound financial sector. The Finance Minister further said that this budget is being presented in the backdrop of two cross-cutting developments namely, proliferation of technologies like Machine Learning, Robotics, AI, Analytics, Bio-Informatics; and the highest ever cohort of productive age population (15-65 years). Consequently, the digital revolution has placed India in a unique leadership position globally. The government aims to:
- Achieve seamless delivery of services through Digital governance
- Improve physical quality of life through National Infrastructure Pipeline
- Mitigate Risks through Disaster Resilience
- Boost Social security through Pension and Insurance penetration.
The Finance Minister also said that the Union Budget 2020-21 reflects the Government’s firm commitment to substantially boost investment in Agriculture, Infrastructure, Social Sector, Education and Health. This is substantiated by increase in expenditure of Rs 3,43,678 crores over RE (2019-20) while keeping the fiscal deficit at 3.8% of GDP, she added.