Piyush Goyal hails Budget '18 as 'visionary'

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2018 23:26 IST

New Delhi [India] Feb 1 (ANI): Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday welcomed the Budget 2018, describing it as a "visionary" budget.

Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget in the Parliament.

Talking to ANI, Union Railways, Coal and Power Minister Goyal said, "It is a visionary budget. It is not populist but yet caring every section of the society".

He added that fiscal prudence has also been maintained, and at the same time, a deep focus has also been given to rural India.

The minister also termed the government's decision to provide health insurance to poor as a "game changer".

"The poor of the country who used to often in the debt trap because of health expenses have been given a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family, which will cover 10 crore families. It is a game changer; moving towards healthcare for all", Goyal said.

He added that the Budget has shifted focus now for strengthening the country in terms of infrastructure so that country becomes ready and prepared for a modern tomorrow and a new India.

Highlighting breathers to the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), salaried class and senior citizens, Goyal said, "All in all, this is a budget which gives everybody a better quality life in the future and takes the country to the next level of development to prepare for a new India by 2022".

Taxes have been reduced for the MSMEs by five percent. The salaried class has been given an additional standard deduction of Rs 40000. Senior citizens have been given a significant reduction in taxes.

Speaking on the Opposition's charge of no measures for fiscal consolidation in the Budget, Goyal said, "The Congress Party is forgetting that in the year before 2009 election, it had allowed fiscal deficit situation to deteriorate from 2.9 percent to over 5 percent within the same year. If that is fiscal prudence, then we will have to revisit the definition of fiscal prudence in India".

He hailed Jaitley for showing a huge amount of fiscal prudence and controlling the fiscal deficit.

"It (budget) is a measure of his commitment to fiscal prudence, to strengthen the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country. There could not be better validation that despite imposing a long-term capital gains tax, the stock markets have been up most of the day", Goyal said. (ANI)