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Budget reflects country’s ‘historic achievements’ in last 10 years: LG Sinha

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J&K BJP terms it ‘people-friendly’, NC calls it ‘disappointing’

Srinagar: Asserting that the Union Budget reflected the country’s “historic achievements” in the last 10 years, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said it was dedicated to ensuring a better future for the common man.

“Union budget reflects the historic achievements of 10 years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji’s government and outlines his vision for Viksit Bharat by 2047. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Ji has aptly noted that people are looking ahead to the future with hope and optimism,” the LG office said in a post on X.

“The budget is dedicated to a better future for the common man. The emphasis on inclusivity, social inclusivity through coverage of all strata of the society, and geographical inclusivity through development of all regions of the country has put the Indian economy on a fast-track,” the post added.

Meanwhile the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday termed the interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as “people-friendly”, while opposition National Conference claimed it had nothing for the people and was “disappointing”.

BJP’s J&K spokesperson Altaf Thakur said, “I think this is a very good budget and it will help speed up the development of Kashmir.”

“This is a people-friendly budget. The backbone of Kashmir is the tourism industry and the announcement for interest-free loan in the Budget will bring a new revolution in Kashmir’s economy. This provision will take Kashmir’s tourism industry further ahead,” Thakur said.

He also lauded the provisions in the Budget to empower Anganwari and ASHA workers and hailed the announcements made for youth welfare and employment.

National Conference (NC) spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said the people of the Union Territory had high hopes from the interim Budget but it has “disappointed” them.

“As expected, there is not much about price inflation, price rise or job creations. So, there is not much that came out of the budget. The price rise is still high; the joblessness in this country is at an all-time high. Nothing was discussed in the budget which the common man or poor will be happy about. I believe it is just a budget and (the government is) playing with the numbers,” he said.

Industry leaders in Jammu welcomed the Union Budget for giving full focus to all major sectors including defence, health and agriculture, but rued that no relief has been announced for the business community.

The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) hailed the continuity of tax benefits for start-ups, tax exemptions for  units, rooftop solarisation for households, and the announcement of two crore additional houses in the next five years under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

However, the chamber rued that no new proposal has been announced for local industry.

“There is nothing new for the business community as no relief has been announced for them in the budget”, the President of Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Arun Gupta said in response to the union budget presented on Thursday.

He also said that we have demanded establishment of some public sector undertaking unit in Jammu but nothing has been announced in the budget.

“We hope the government will announce the establishment of a big tourism destination in Jammu to boost tourist footfall, considering the potential economic impact of the connectivity developments up to Kashmir Valley,” he said.

Gaurav Gupta, former Secretary General of JCCI, applauded the Interim budget 2024, describing it as a foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth.

He expressed optimism about its transformative impact on India’s future.

“Prime Minister Modi’s statement underscored the budget’s inclusive nature, emphasizing its focus on empowering the pillars of Viksit Bharat – Yuva, Garib, Mahila, and Kisan. The strategic approach reflects a commitment to uplifting diverse segments of society in line with developmental goals”, he said.

Chasfeeda, a woman entrepreneur, welcomed the Finance minister’s women-centric announcements in the Budget and appealed to the women to grab the opportunities.

“…The government is doing a lot for women. I think every woman should come forward and take benefit of the opportunity to become independent,” Chasfeeda said.

The Women and Child Development Ministry has been allocated Rs 26,000 crore in 2024-25, an increase of 2.52 per cent from the previous budget.

The Saksham Anganwadi and POSHAN 2.0 (Umbrella ICDS – Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyan, Scheme for Adolescent Girls) saw the highest allocation of funds at Rs 21,200 crore, followed by the Mission Shakti (Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women) which has been given Rs 3145.97 crore.

“We were expecting a change from this budget because the inflation is very high. We were expecting some relief, but unfortunately, there is no change. We now expect that it will be done after the elections,” Suhail Shah, vice-president, Lal Chowk Traders Association, said.

Shah said the traders were expecting some relief in GST or income tax.

“We were expecting that the GST rates would be reduced and we hope it will be done in the future,” he said.

Presenting a vote on account or an interim budget for 2024-25, Sitharaman proposed no changes in income tax rates for individuals and corporates, as well as customs duty.

She hiked capital expenditure to Rs 11.11 lakh crore for 2024-25 while trimming the fiscal deficit for this financial year to 5.8 percent, from the budgeted 5.9 percent of GDP, and further lowering to 5.1 percent in the next fiscal. (With inputs from PTI)


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