New Delhi, Feb 12: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday defended the Union Budget 2021-22, saying it did not put additional burden on people and had come at a time when the Indian economy was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The allocation for the health sector had been increased by 137 per cent to Rs 2.23 lakh crore compared with last year with provision for Rs 35,000 crore for corona vaccination too, he said while addressing youths here as part of the BJP drive to explain to the people various welfare measures proposed by the government.
“The budget for health provides for Rs 35,000 crore for vaccination. We have also been helping several countries with the vaccine in line with the Indian philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’,” the Minister said.
“Based on the Prime Minister’s advice of ‘jaan hai tau jahan hai’, health and well-being of the citizenry has been taken care of,” he added.
Pradhan hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a Budget for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliant India.
He said that the central government had taken the responsibility of taking care of 80 crore people through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana during the pandemic.
“Eighty crore people — two third of the country’s population — were taken care by the union government which provided free ration, gas, cash in bank accounts,” Pradhan said.
He said that the Budget was focussed on innovation and technology, on which the economic strength of the country depended.
Pradhan said that the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs 40,000 crore will open new doors of development for rural India.
The Minister said that the new National Education Policy brought forth by the Modi government talked about employment and knowledge.