Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has termed the Union Budget for 2018-19 as pro-poor and pro-farmer.

Hailing the budget presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on Thursday, the CM said it’s “unmistakably reflective of the pro-poor and pro-farmer policies of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government”.

He said this budget will prove to be a major milestone towards realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling the income of farmers, and by giving a decisive push to economic growth and job creation, will lay the foundation for a new India.

Khattar said the Budget proposals are steeped in people’s welfare and well-being, underscoring that the NDA government thinks and cares for the man on the street.

Creation of 70 lakh new jobs in one year and bringing back standard deduction of up to Rs 40,000 will provide relief to the middle class, he said. Exemption of tax on interest income up to Rs 50,000 on bank deposits will make senior citizens smile, Khattar said.

The decision to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of all crops to at least 1.5 times the production cost would incentivise farming operations and improve the economic lot of the farmers, the CM said.
The Rs 2,000 crore fund for developing agricultural markets will help the farmers in marketing their produce where they can get the maximum price, he added.

Besides, adoption of cluster approach, allocation of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation Green,’ to promote processing facilities, state-of-the-art facilities in 42 mega food parks and Rs 1,000 crore for promotion of fisheries, together with focus on productive and gainful on-farm and non-farm employment for farmers and landless families, will further add to the income of the farmers, Khattar said.

The CM also lauded the decision to provide eight crore free gas connections to women under the Ujjwala scheme, four crore electricity connections to the poor under Saubhagya Yojana and coverage of 10 crore poor and vulnerable families under the National Health Protection Scheme.

That the government will provide up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitals shows that it is progressing towards the goal of universal health coverage, he added.