Published: 05th July 2019
Union Budget 2019: 95 per cent of all cities are now open-defecation free, says FM
Sitharaman added that 9.6 crore toilets have been built in 5.6 lakh villages in India
9.6 crore toilets have been constructed and more than 5.6 lakh villages have become open-defecation free, the Finance Minister said while proposing to expand and undertake solid waste management in every village. Swachh Bharat has brought enormous environmental and health benefits, she added.
Nearly 95 per cent of all cities have declared themselves open-defecation free. More than 45,000 public toilets have been uploaded on google maps and nearly 1 crore citizens have downloaded the Swachhta app, Sitharaman said. She also urged to use the soild waste to produce energy and promote sustainable solid waste management in villages.
India's first full-time woman finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden union budget at 11 am on July 5. Sitharaman reached the Parliament an hour ahead of time with the budget document folded in a red traditional cloth or 'bahi khaata' sealed with the government seal. Chief Economic Advisor K Subramanian said that it was a departure from "slavery of western tradition". The red cloth symbolises the 'bahi khaata' traditionally used in every Indian business set up to maintain accounts.
Analysts and the media had predicted that her first budget will be focused on the middle class and the poor and that it will take the SoPs presented in the interim budget by Piyush Goyal in February further. Sitharaman has to deal with income tax exemption slabs, unemployment and form a pro-janta budget with the added task of pulling the country out of a five year low. With former Education Minister Prakash Javadekar promising that the government will try its best to spend 6 per cent of the GDP on education and the PM stressing on the youth development and innovation, eyes are on Sitharaman's budget to bring the change.