Imphal: Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has lauded the Union Budget 2023 and said it is the first general budget of India’s Amrit Kaal.
Briefing media at his official bungalow this evening, the Chief Minister congratulated Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who, under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tabled the visionary and pro-poor budget.
He said that the budget is for public welfare, and will uplift the lives of villagers, rural folk, tribals, farmers, backward classes, differently abled people, and those who are economically backward.
This budget will promote social justice, equality, and provide equal opportunities to all sections of society, he said, adding that it will make India a “super power.”
The budget, he continued, emphasises the education of children, the earnings of the middle class, and the welfare of the elderly.
The Chief Minister further stressed that the budget carries the economic agenda of facilitating opportunities for citizens, providing strong impetus to growth and job creation, and strengthening macroeconomic stability.
The seven priorities of the Budget 2023 are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector, he said, adding that this budget has shown a blueprint for laying a strong foundation for India’s economic development for the next 50 years.
He stated that the budget highlighted the end of an old tax regime and the beginning of a new one, stating that tax slabs have been reduced to five and that no income tax is now payable up to Rs. 7 lakhs per year, which was previously Rs. 5 lakh.
The budget has also stressed the seriousness and commitment of the government to the development of tribal communities, he said, adding that the PM’s Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) Development Mission has been launched and Rs. 15000 crore has been given for this mission.
The Chief Minister also welcomed the step to establish a national digital library for youth and children.
In the next three years, the Central Government will appoint 38,800 teachers and support staff in 740 Eklavya Model Residential Schools, he added.
Highlighting the government’s focus on the development of the dairy, animal husbandry, and fisheries sectors, the budget has increased the target of providing agriculture credit to Rs. 20 lakh crores, and to promote agribusiness start-ups, an ‘Agriculture Accelerator Fund’ being set up.
The Chief Minister added that in the next three years, one crore farmers will be helped to adopt natural farming, and 10,000 bio input resource centres will be set up for this.
The Chief Minister also said that the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 4.0 will be launched to skill lakhs of youths and will have new age courses like coding, artificial intelligence, robotics, mechatronics, IOT, and drones.
30 Skill India International Centers will be set up to skill youth for international opportunities, he said.
The Chief Minister further welcomed the announcement of ‘National Data Governance Policy’ and said it will promote research and innovations in start-ups and educational institutions.
Another major focus of the budget is the ‘Mahila Samman Bachat Patra, a new small savings scheme launched to commemorate ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the Chief Minister said, adding that it will provide fixed interest of 7.5% per annum for two years for deposits up to Rs. 2 lakhs in the name of women or girls.
The Chief Minister also highlighted that the limit for keeping money in savings accounts for senior citizens has been increased from Rs. 4.5 lakhs to Rs. 9 lakhs.
Another major focus of this budget is “green growth,” he said, adding that the Modi government has allocated Rs. 19,700 crore for the National Hydrogen Mission with a target to produce 50 lakh tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030 and that a Rs. 35,000 crore fund has been provided for energy transition to ‘green’ energy.
The Chief Minister added 100 laboratories to be set up in engineering institutes to develop apps that run on 5G mobile services, and this will create new opportunities, jobs, and investments.
This year’s budget allocated Rs. 2.40 lakh crore for the development and modernization of India Railways, which is nine times the amount allocated in 2014
Biren Singh also stressed that capital investment has been increased by 33 percent to Rs. 10 lakh crore and that this will boost infrastructure development across the country.
Under the budget, he said, the 50-year interest-free loans given to states for capital expenditures have been extended by another year.
The allocation for the PM Awas Yojana has increased by 66% to Rs. 79,000 crore, the Chief Minister said, adding that it shows the sensitivity of the PM to the needs of the poor and needy.
Despite the COVID pandemic and war in Europe, the budget size has increased to Rs. 45 lakh crore, reflecting the fast-growing economy of the country, he said.
The Chief Minister also highlighted that, under the budget, 157 new nursing colleges will be established, joining the 157 medical colleges established since 2014.
A mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 will be launched, he continued, adding that 50 new airports, helipads, and advanced landing grounds will be set up to enhance regional connectivity.
For urban development, an Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) is being set up with a provision of Rs. 10,000 crore per annum, he said, adding that the MSMEs will be given an additional Rs. 9,000 crore of credit guarantee, which will allow them to avail of up to Rs. 2 lakh crores of extra collateral-free credit.
The Chief Minister concluded by saying that this budget envisages India’s growth and development 100 years post-independence and provides a roadmap for growth, development, and progress for all sections of society.
The Indian economy is on the right track and moving towards a bright future, he said once more, thanking the PM and FM for this public and social welfare-oriented budget.
The press briefing was also attended by Minister Konthoujam Govindas Singh and Minister Dr. Sapam Ranjan Singh.