Here are initial comments made by Nirmala Sitharaman

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On Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled her second Budget in Parliament. Presenting the Budget 2020 in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said the budget is “to boost the income and purchasing power of people.”

“People of India have unequivocally given their support to the policies of the Narendra Modi government. People reposed faith in our economic policies. This Budget aims to address aims, aspirations of people,” Sitharaman said in her address today.

Responding to fears of a recession in the country, Sitharaman said the fundamentals of the economy are strong and that inflation has been well contained. Presenting the budget, the Finance Minister said, “We have added 60 lakh new taxpayers, in GST ambit.”

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“Banks saw a thorough cleanup. Of our structural reforms, GST has been the most historic. From 2014-2019, the Modi govt has focused on fundamental structural reforms and inclusive growth,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech and paid homage to former finance minister late Arun Jaitley.

Hailing the passage the Goods and Services Tax (GST), she said that an average household now saves about 4% of its monthly spend on account of reduced GST rates. “Consumers have got an annual benefit of 1 lakh crore rupees by GST. There are 1 million out of poverty and we should be proud of it,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

“The budget 2020-21 will focus on three themes — Aspirational India, Economic Development For All and A Caring Society.” FM Sitharaman said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also recited a Kashmiri poem written by Pandit Dinanath Kaul as she presented Union Budget 2020. FM also translated the Kashmiri poem into Hindi, which read, “Hamara vatan khilte huey Shalimar bagh jaisa…hamara vatan Dal jheel me khilte huey Kamal jaisa…Naujawaanon ke garm khoon jaisa…Mera vatan, tera vatan, hamara vatan Duniya ka sabse pyara vatan”.

“Our land is like a blooming Shalimar Garden, like a lotus in Dal Lake…With the hot blood of the youth…My land, your land, our land The world’s best-loved land,” the poem reads in English.

Finance Minister Sitharaman is expected to outline the Centre’s plans to deal with the challenges posed by the downward spiral of the economy and achieve the $5 trillion economy target by 2025.

(Read LIVE Updates on Union Budget 2020-21 at Opindia here)

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