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Union Budget 2021 Live : Govt fully prepared to support economy reset : FM Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi : All eyes are on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she is set to present Union Budget 2021-22 today, at a time when India is battling the Covid-19 crisis. The budget will be presented at 11am in Parliament. The Union Budget comes at a time when India is battling the coronavirus pandemic and the economy is reeling under the aftereffects of the lockdown.

Expectations are high that the government will boost economic revival by focussing on infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture, rural economy, MSMEs sectors impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

At the start of the joint session of Parliament on Friday, PM Narendra Modi said the Finance Minister had already announced 3-4 mini budgets and that the 2021-22 Budget should be seen as an extension of the same effort. After an estimated 7.7 per cent contraction in 2020-21, the Finance Ministry’s Economic Survey projects that India’s real GDP would record a growth of 11 per cent in 2021-22. The nominal GDP growth has been estimated at 15.4 per cent, implying an assumption of 4.4 per cent inflation during the year.

Sitharaman has raised hopes by stating that Budget 2021-22 will “be a Budget like never before.” Expectations are high that the government will boost economic revival by focusing on infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture, rural economy, MSMEs sectors impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

This would be Sitharaman’s third budget under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a significant departure from the tradition, this year’s Budget will be unique as it will be paperless.

Key Points from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech –

Budget in unprecedented times: Sitharaman
In her opening remarks, FM Sitharaman said Budget 2021 was prepared in “unprecedented times.” She also thanked the essential workers who continued to serve the country amid the lockdown.

Announcements made earlier were like 5 mini budgets themselves: FM Sitharaman on Budget 2021
Ahead of announcing the allocations and what the government plans to do for the upcoming financial year, Sitharaman is highlighting what the government has done for the poor, the migrants, children as well as senior citizens under various schemes. “Announcements made earlier were like 5 mini budgets themselves,” she said.

Sitharaman now quotes Tagore during Budget 2021 presentation
“Today, India has two vaccines and is not only comforting citizens of her own country, but those of neighbouring nations too,” Sitharaman said as she highlights the Covid-19 pandemic related efforts of the government and what the challenges are ahead. Sitharaman now quotes Tagore: “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” She also remembers Indian cricket team victory’s in Australia.

Modi govt prepared to facilitate a reset of the economy: FM Sitharaman
“So far only three times the budget has followed a contraction. Our government is fully prepared to support and facilitate a reset of the economy,” she says, adding that 2021 is the year of “milestones.”

Sitharaman mentions Atmanirbhar Bharat
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India could have never imagined the health crisis that was about to unfold when she presented a budget for 2020. “The total impact of Atmanirbhar Bharat and measures by RBI was Rs 27.1 lakh crore, which amounts to 30 percent of GDP,” Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman listed the below as main pillars of Budget 2021
Health
Human capital
Innovation and R&D
Physical infrastructure

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