Published: 01st February 2021
Union Budget 2021: Sithraman opens budget by quoting Tagore, praising Team India's Gabba heroics to sell Atmanirbhar
Through the past year, the Finance Minister has announced a Rs 30 lakh crore plan, in 'mini-budgets' to beat COVID-19
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman quoted Rabindranath Tagore and drew inspiration from the Indian cricket team's recent success in Australia, when they beat the Aussies in a fifth-day nail-biter, while presenting the Union Budget 2021 at the Lok Sabha on February 1. She also added that the government has announced relief measures worth Rs 27.1 lakh crore, which amounts to 13 per cent of the GDP.
"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark," said the FM quoting Tagore, as MPs interrupted her with the customary banging on the desks, before she repeated the iconic lines. "I can't help but recall the joy that we as cricket-loving nation felt after the team India's spectacular victory in Australia. It has reminded us of all the qualities that we as a people cherish — hope and the zeal to fight," she added.
Through the past year, the Finance Minister has announced a Rs 30 lakh crore plan, in 'mini-budgets' to beat COVID-19 which included the Aatmanirbhar Bharat programmes, performance-linked incentives, boost for domestic manufacturing, improved credit access for enterprises, moratorium on interest payments, thrust on affordable housing and booster shots for MNREGA. "The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana and the three Aatmanirbhar packages and other announcements were like five mini budgets," she added, reiterating the point that PM Modi had made on Friday when the Budget session started. The global economy, which was slowing down, was pushed into uncertainty due to COVID-19. The risk of not having a lockdown was far more, far too high, said the Finance Minister.
Amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Minister presented a paperless budget. This is the first time in India's history that a paperless Union Budget was presented. As the budget papers will not be printed, the Finance Minister has also launched an official mobile app to provide complete access to all budget documents. The mobile app can be downloaded from the Union Budget Web Portal www.indiabudget.gov.in.
The Finance Minister had assured a budget “like never before”. The budget 2021 has a greater significance as it comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused economic disruption. FM Nirmala Sitharaman replaced the Swadeshi 'bahi khata' and switched to a tablet. She was seen carrying a tablet kept inside a red coloured cover with a golden coloured national emblem embossed on it. The Economic Survey 2020, presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday pegged the GDP growth at 11 per cent in FY22.