New Delhi: The rural theme of the Union Budget was the highlight of the economic resolution passed on the first day of the two-day BJP National Executive meeting today, with the party claiming that never before so much money was allocated to the sector, including for rural credit, irrigation and roads.
The resolution also attacked Congress for pushing country first into “social cronyism and then capital cronyism” and hailed the Modi government for ushering in true “panchayati raj” by sanctioning Rs 80 lakh for every village and Rs 21 crore for small townships.
Briefing the media on the resolution, Union Minister Ananth Kumar and party General Secretary Bhupender Yadav said the budget was dedicated to the rural poor, farmers, and weaker sections. Party chief Amit Shah also underlined the government’s “commitment” to farmers by citing the new crop insurance scheme, which he said, for the first time provided full protection to farmers against any damage to their crops while the earlier schemes focused on helping them repay their loans. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will address the valedictory session tomorrow, asked party leaders and workers to use social media to highlight the government’s successes besides reaching out to them on ground. This is the first National Executive meeting since Shah took over as the party president for the second time. Kumar said the resolution focused on the ‘Gram uday se Bharat uday’ (from rise of villages to rise of India) emphasis of the budget as the Executive cheered its proposals to lift the rural economy. It was proposed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and seconded by Kisan Morcha head Vijay Pal Singh. “As much as Rs nine lakh crore has been allocated for rural credit, which is more than ever before. For the first time, the Centre has set aside Rs 15000 crore for interest subsidy. While Rs 20000 crore has been allocated to complete 89 irrigation projects, Rs 22000 crore will be spent during the year on Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna against Rs 8000-9000 crore during the UPA (dispensation),” Kumar said. Under Mudra yojna, he said, loans of Rs 1 lakh crore have been given to Rs 2.5 crore people for self-employment and the target is help 5.5 crore people in total by the next year, he said. There is no shortage of fertilizers in the country as factories producing them are working at 120 per cent of their capacity, he claimed. Yadav said the government believed that only agricultural growth can lead to dignified lives of the rural poor after the UPA government’s policies led to rural distress, including suicide. “Congress first gave social cronyism to the country and then capital cronyism. It along the Left parties was most opposed to the Aadhar bill which the government brought in Parliament to provide benefits to the people directly,” he said, attacking the main opposition party. — PTI