New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that Union Budget 2021 is instrument for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', adding that stimulus provision under it is to revive the coronavirus pandemic-hit economy.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha, the Finance Minister said that Union Budget 2021 will help the government maintain sustainable economic growth and will help poor, dalits and tribals but not the "damaads".

Taking a veiled dig at the Congress, Sitharaman said that 'damaads' are in every Indian house but the grand old party has "specialised name". She further attacked the opposition, saying it is trying to create a false narrative against the government that it works only for "cronies".

"It's a Budget which clearly draws on the experience, the administrative capacities and also exposure that the PM had during his long elected tenure - both as Chief Minister and as Prime Minister of this country - known for his commitment towards development, growth and reforms," Sitharaman said in Rajya Sabha.

Giving details of what the Centre has done for the welfare of economically weaker sections of the society, Sitharaman said that over 1.67 crore houses were completed under the PM Awas Yojana while more than 2.67 crore households were electrified under the PM Saubhagya Yojana.

She also said that the Centre provided free foodgrains to nearly 800 million people while cash was directly given to around 400 million people, farmers, women and divyangs. The Finance Minister also said that over loans worth Rs 27,000 crore were sanctioned under Mudra Yojana by the government.

"Number of digital transactions via UPI from Aug 2016 till January 2020 - over 3.6 lakh crore. UPI is used by who? The rich? No. Middle class, smaller traders. Who are these people then? Is the government creating UPI, facilitating digital transactions to benefit rich cronies? Some damaads?," Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman had presented the Union Budget 2021 on February 1 while saying that India's fight against the novel COVID-19 infection will continue in 2021. Before the Budget presentation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Sitharaman had presented four-five mini-Budgets in 2020 and Union Budget 2021 will be a part of it only.

However, the opposition, led by Congress' Rahul Gandhi, had termed the Union Budget 2021 as "crony centric", which "betrays" the employers of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

"Modi's crony centric budget means- Struggling MSMEs given no low-interest loans, no GST relief. The employers of India's largest workforce betrayed," Gandhi had said.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta