Voice Of The People

Exclusive interview on Union Budget 2017 with Meenakshi Lekhi

Pradip Bhandari, the Founder of Jan Ki Baat, spoke to BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi on the Union Budget of 2017. Ms Lekhi claims that the Budget reflects the BJP’s fundamental principles: the bargaining power of the common man has been increased due to the budget and there’s an accompanied pause on the economic inflation. The farmers who’ve benefitted with the Budget’s compensation scheme are also now going to be able to enjoy the services being made available to them. Women are the 3rd major beneficiaries of the Budget, with them being accorded paid maternity leaves and many other similar perks. Ms Lekhi calls the Budget “a consolidation of all that is good”. She points out that the BJP has fulfilled its promise of public accountability and transparency; the principle of Swachhta, launched and promoted by the PM, isn’t only for the streets and localities but also applicable to politics. She dismissed the Opposition’s claim of the Budget not containing anything new by suggesting the failures of the UPA regime- MNREGA was a success, according to Ms Lekhi, only on paper and considered a good policy only on basis of that paper; the reality is starkly different and now the BJP plans to not only spend money but also benefits. Water problems and infrastructural concerns are both being addressed by this Budget, she says.

The Union Budget was presented by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, in the Parliament. One of the most awaited budgets, it was keen on battling the image it had earned, post-demonetization, just a few months ago. It had to make space for many recent concerns, besides the usual allocations for infrastructure and developments. Opinions currently circulating the Budget are polarized, as any other issue.

The BJP’s motto, since 2014, has been ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikaas’- Has this been translated onto the Union Budget for the fiscal year 2017-18? The other question is, how soon would it be able to implement all the schemes it has designed for the people? Or would this, too, just remains a bunch of designs on a piece of paper?


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