- A Kashmiri verse, quotes from Tamil poets and references to Saraswati-Sindhu civilisation dotted Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s 160-minutelong marathon Budget speech.
- The longest Union Budget speech ever, some of her remarks, includingregarding ‘BetiBachao, BetiPadao’programme, were met with protestsfrom the Opposition benches.
- Her first Budget speech, in July 2019, went on for around 137 minutes.Agriculture Highlights:
- Kisan Rail and Krishi Udan:The initiatives have been launched to facilitate smooth and fast transport of perishable goods to assist the farmers.
- Solar Pumps: The Government will also help 20 lakh farmers to set up standalone solar pumps.
- Funds: The Government has announced allocationof 99,000croresfor the education sector.
- New Universities:The government will be setting up National Police University and National Forensic University.
- IND-SAT test:The government has also proposed to set up IND-SATtest for foreign students wishing to pursue higher education in India.
- Five archaeological siteswill be developed as iconic sites with on-sitemuseums in 5 different states.
- The sites include – Rakhigarhiin Haryana, Hastinapur in Up, Shivsagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.
MSME & Corporate Sector
- The budget proposes a new scheme for MSMEs in the context of subordinate debt.
- The debt recast window of MSME is extended by one year to March 31,2021.
- Certain categories of government securities will now be opened for Non-Resident Investors.
- The FPI Limit in Corporate bond has increased to 15%.
- Electrification of around 27000 km of railway lines achieved within 100 days of Modi Government formation in 2019.
- A large solar power capacity proposed for the Indian Railways. It will be built along the rail track on the Railways owned lands.
- Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project proposed; budget allocates Rs 18,600 crore for this project.
- By 2024, the Government would monetize 12 lots of national highways.
- With the help of UDAN scheme, 100 airports will be built by 2024.
- The fleet of Aircraft will be increased to 1200 planes by 2024.
- Rs 1.7 lakh crore allocated for transport infrastructure.
- Prepaid Smart Meters: States will have to replace existing energy meters withthe prepaid smart meters.
- Budget allocates Rs 22,000 crore for the Power and Renewable EnergySector.
- The national gas grid will be expanded from 16200 km to 27000 km.
- A new policy will be launched for the construction of data centre parks by theprivate sector.
- Bharat Net to link 1 lakh gram panchayats through Fibre to Homeconnections.
- Budget allocates Rs 6000 crore for the Bharat Net programme.
- It provides Rs.8,000 crore in the next 5 years for “National Mission onQuantum Technology and Applications”.
- ‘BetiBachao, BetiPadhao’:Enrollment of girls in schools is higher thanthe boys.
- 35,600 crores will be provided for nutrition-related programmes.
- Task Force will be constituted to look into the issue of girls of low age entering motherhood.
- It allocates Rs. 85,000 crores for development of SCs and OBCs.
- It allocates Rs. 53,700 crores for STs development.
- It allocates Rs.9,000 crores for Senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
Art & Culture
- The government will constitute “Indian Institute of Heritage andConservation” as a deemed university.
- 5 archaeological sites to be developed as top-notch sites; these sites are: Rakhigarhi – Haryana, Hastinapur – Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar – Assam, Dholavira – Gujarat, Adichanallur – Tamil Nadu.
- The government will build a Tribal Museum in Ranchi.
- The budget allocates Rs. 3150 crores for the Ministry of Culture.
- The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure will be implemented from January 2021.
- It allocates Rs. 4,400 crores to promote clean air in cities with a populationof over 1 million people.