Watch: PM Calls Interim Budget “Important Step To Strengthen Nation”

Watch: PM Calls Interim Budget “Important Step To Strengthen Nation”

New Delhi: After the last budget of his government was presented, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said that nearly 15 crore people and their families will benefit from the government's relief schemes for the farmers and the middle class in the interim budget, which comes months before the national elections due by May.

The Prime Minister said, "I congratulate the middle class for the relief in taxes... I salute the middle class for their stellar contribution towards the development of the nation."

The people under the lowest income bracket 5 lakh have been given full tax exemption, to placate angry farmers, the government has introduced a cash transfer scheme for small and marginal farmers.

PM Modi said that over 12 crore farmers and their families, over 3 crore salaried professionals and their families will gain due to the measures. "It is good to see more people being removed from the shackles of poverty. Our Neo-middle class is rising and so are their dreams... Interim budget a trailer for what will take India towards prosperity after Lok Sabha polls," he said in a televised statement.," he added.

Named after the Prime Minister, the scheme for farmers has been roundly criticised by the Congress.

The Congress President, Rahul Gandhi has said giving farmers "Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for".

Former finance minister and senior leader of Congress, P Chidambaram said the government was planning to "buy votes" with the scheme, which has been made active with retrospective effect. Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister said the concession to to farmers, concessions to middle class will have "implications in the elections"

Union Minister Piyush Goyal has hit out, saying, "Many times, people from big khandaans (families) don't understand the condition of small farmers from their air conditioned rooms".

"For years, many initiatives have been initiated for farmers but sadly, a lot of farmers never came under the ambit of these schemes. The PM Kisan Nidhi will help those farmers who have under 5 acres of land. This scheme is a historic step for farmer welfare," PM Modi said.