Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Budget in Parliament on Friday. (Image Courtesy by LSTV)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting the Budget in Parliament on Friday. (Image Courtesy by LSTV)

Sitharaman's budget speech kept women MPs upbeat, enthusiastic throughout; opposition remained passive

ANI | Updated: Jul 05, 2019 17:25 IST

New Delhi (India), July 5 (ANI): Bowing before her parents sitting in the Speaker's gallery of Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday presented the historical budget that drew the highest applause from women on several occasions.
During the budget presentation, the government hardly faced any stiff opposition even during the announcement of additional cess of Rs one on petrol and diesel.
Sitharaman, who became the first full-time women Finance Minister to present budget, drew the loudest applause from members on announcement related to women with the Union Minister Smriti Irani taking the lead, who was sitting in the second row behind Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
"In order to further encourage women enterprise, the budget has a proposal to expand the Women Self Help Groups (SHG) interest subvention program to all districts. Every verified woman SHG member having a Jan Dhan Bank Account will be allowed an overdraft of Rs.5,000.
"One woman in every SHG will also be eligible for a loan of up to Rs. 1 lakh under the MUDRA Scheme. Seventy per cent of beneficiaries under MUDRA scheme are women," she announced amid applause and thumping of desks by the ruling party members especially the women members.
The women members were seen upbeat when Sitharaman hailed the role of women in the rural economy and said the Modi-led government was wishing to encourage and facilitate their role in the future.
"There is no segment of human life where the contribution of women is not significant. This government firmly believes that the socio-economic transformation that is taking place particularly in the last decade, Indian women's role and leadership is distinct," she said.
The Lok Sabha drew thunderous applause as the Finance Minister used the term "Nari tu Narayani" for women and said they not only turn out for votes in record numbers but also registered emphatic victory with 78 women candidates reaching to the Lok Sabha.
She drew applause even from DMK members for her rendition of Tamil couplets during her budget speech. DMK leaders Dayanidhi Maran, A Raja were among other MPs who were seen thumping their desks.
During her entire speech, the government did not face any protest from the opposition members. On two occasion Trinamool Congress's Saugata Roy was seen saying something but his voice could not be heard.
As Sithraman entered the Lok Sabha ahead of the budget presentation, most of the women MPs from BJP walked up to Sitharaman and wished for her first budget. As she took her seat, she stood within seconds and bowed before her parents. Besides Sitharaman's parents, her daughter Vangmayi was also present in the Speaker's gallery.
Sitharaman's budget speech saw full attendance not just in the House but also from the Rajya Sabha gallery, press gallery and the visitors' gallery.
The Rajya Sabha gallery was packed with Upper House members. Among those present were Deputy Chairman Harivansh, former minister K J Alphons, D. Raja, Kumar Ketkar, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Majeed Memon and Rajiv Chandrasekhar.
In the visitors' gallery, the presence of six persons wearing saffron dresses with turbans was the centre of attraction for all.
As Sitharaman concluded her budget speech Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked up to her and congratulated. Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani and several others too walked up to her to congratulate. (ANI)