July 10, 2014

This is the first budget of the Narendra Modi government. Every attempt has been made to meet the aspirations of all Indians and to assuage their pain. This is a balanced budget of the government and concerns of every section, including the middle class, have been addressed. In addition, several positive steps have been taken to improve the growth rate. I congratulate the Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley ji, for delivering a pragmatic, growth-oriented and forward-looking budget – one where the aspirations of all sections of 125 crore Indians are addressed. The government has charted a roadmap for the economic resurgence of India. The budget addresses issues raised in the BJP Manifesto. Our motto of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas” is truly reinforced in this budget.

From the Congress government, we inherited practically empty coffers, a regime of back-breaking inflation, a decimated economy, sluggish growth, mammoth fiscal & current account deficits, and a sense of hopelessness. They ran the government to benefit a few at the cost of everyone else. As a result, crores of Indians were exasperated by Congress’ misgovernance and decided to vote emphatically in favour of change.

The FM has laid down a comprehensive action plan for the revitalization of the Indian economy. This budget brings back “hope” into the Economy. It also lays the building blocks for our dream of “Ek Bharat, shreshtha Bharat”. The budget lays the foundation to rebuild India based on the principles of transparency, minimum government and maximum governance. It sets the pace for greater financial inclusion of the weaker sections.

He has highlighted an actionable plan for ensuring basic amenities to all, robust physical and social infrastructure, quality life in villages, restoring & revitalizing agriculture, healthy manufacturing, crores of jobs for the youth, good education for children and decent healthcare for all. We have taken great strides to restore investor and entrepreneurial confidence, and this will kickstart growth and spur prosperity in the years to come.

In particular, the common man will immensely benefit from the relief to small income tax payers and senior citizens (this will also help families spend more on healthcare of elders & women and education of children), impetus on agriculture & rural economy and plans for urban renewal. The middle class will benefit from increased tax concessions which will add to savings and spending, particularly giving a thrust to home ownership. I also heartily welcome increasing taxes on chewing tobacco, gutka and aerated cold-drinks on health grounds. The nation is also thankful for the commitment to build a War Memorial, work on One Rank One Pension and plans for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants.

The measures announced today will instill investor confidence, rekindle the savings-investment cycle for a growth rate of 5.5-5.9% this year and rising to much higher growth rates in the next two years. A great boost has been given to agricultural development and agricultural productivity. Rural connectivity and use of modern technology in improving shelf-life through warehousing and other facilities with a boost to rural road connectivity will enhance farm incomes. Infrastructure has received new impetus. The tax changes lend greater transparency and predictability which will be positive for investor confidence.

Once again, it gives me immense pride to see our party chart the future of India, with such clarity and specificity, that benefits all Indians. There is no doubt that this speech will be remembered as a growth-oriented and positive budget for a long time to come. Once again, I congratulate Shri Arun Jaitley ji.