Goyal also introduced the Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill amid protests by Opposition members in the house by a voice vote.
New Delhi: Amid walkout by the main Opposition party Congress along with the Left parties, the Interim Budget for 2019-20, which was earlier this month presented by Union Minister Piyush Goyal, was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday.
The Budget had announced a massive direct cash transfer scheme worth Rs 75,000 for farmers, which was criticised by the Congress as having no real substance.
Accusing the Congress of betraying the nation by opposing government policies for the poor and farmers, Mr Goyal while replying to a day-long discussion on the Interim Budget, said that the people will never forgive it.
Mr Goyal said that the Modi government had taken a lot of initiatives in the past four-and-half years for the benefit of poor, farmers and middle class and the 2019-20 Interim Budget was a continuation of that.
Among other announcements in the Interim Budget, the government had given 100 per cent rebate for small taxpayers having annual income of up to Rs 5 lakh.
Mr Goyal also introduced the Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill amid protests by Opposition members in the house by a voice vote.
The Bills were passed by voice vote after the finance minister’s reply. Mr Goyal said that the government has worked for all sections of the society and has taken care of them in this Budget.
“The poor, farmers and the middle-class are the government’s priorities. Our government was the first to increase minimum support price (MSP) for farmers,” Mr Goyal said as his speech was interrupted by slogans from the Opposition benches.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that he was given only two minutes to speak.
In the Interim Budget, the cash transfer benefit for farmers drew the most criticism — the Congress said Rs 6,000 a year was a tiny amount and an insult to farmers. Not much, however, has been said about the alterations in taxes for the salaried class, which include a complete exemption for people who earn less than Rs 5 lakh a year.
Another big announcement in the Interim Budget was for a “mega” pension programme for informal sector workers with income below Rs. 15,000. The vast majority of the country’s workers are employed in small enterprises, often with little job security and no social security benefits. This plan, the government said, will help them become financially stable.
The overall expenditures in the interim budget are Rs 27.84 lakh crore, 13 per cent more than the last year’s figure. The expenditure for defence has been increased to Rs 3.05 lakh crore from Rs 2.85 lakh crore in 2018-19.