Mixed reactions poured in from all quarters after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Interim Budget 2024 on Thursday.
While one section hailed the budget, another section which includes the opposition Congress slammed the finance minister and termed it as a "disappointing" one.
Union Minsiter Nitin Gadkari stated that the budget emphasized strengthening the economic sector of India, and development in industrial and business sectors.
Gadkari said, “Finance Minister’s budget is emphasizing to strengthen the economic sector of India, development in industrial and business sector. I believe that infrastructure is getting more priority in this budget."
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, on the other hand said, “This budget reflects development in every level. The budget indicates India’s path towards becoming a strong developed country by 2024."
Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia termed the budget as historic and said that India has moved forward with the goals of Vikshit Bharat, Atmanibhar Bharat and Viswa guru.
Further, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “In the coming days when we are moving forward towards Vikshit Bharat..this budget is a very big stepping stone. The biggest announcement of this budget is the 'Jai Anusandhan' scheme for which Rs 1 lakh crore has been announced as a corpus fund in today's budget. Whichever private entity would opt for a loan, they will get an interest-free loan for 50 years. If I say in one line statement, this budget is a balance of welfare and wealth creation as PM Modi’s magical creation.”
"This budget is a blueprint for a Vikshit Bharat, emphasizing inclusivity for farmers, youth, poor, and women," stated Union Minister Giriraj Singh adding that it "highlighted the addition of 2 crore houses under PM Awas Yojana, support ‘Lakpati didi’ self-help group".
Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju expressed his gratitude and congratulated the Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the budget. He further stated that every sector has been considered, making India economically confident globally.
Further, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said "Interim Budget sits on the pedestal of outstanding governance over the last 10 years. Action speaks louder than words - the developmental data presented in today’s budget reflects the nationwide consensus that people will elect Prime Minster for a record third time."
Meanwhile, the Interim Budget also faced backlash from different sections of the political sphere who claimed that it left out benefits for youth and women.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took a jibe at the finance minister and said that her speech was one among of the shortest on record in the Budget.
Tharoor said, "It was one of the shortest speeches on record in the Budget. Not very much came out of it. As usual a lot of rhetorical language, very little concrete on implementation. She talked about foreign investment without acknowledging that that investment has come down significantly. She talked about a number of things which are couched in vague language like 'confidence' and 'hope' and so on. But when it comes to hard figures, very few figures are available. This is going to be a very disappointing speech in terms of being couched entirely in generalities and without enough substance nor any willingness to address the specific problems of the economy."
Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, "This budget was hollow. There was nothing for the youth, women, farmers...I saw arrogance when they said that they would present the Budget in July. You cannot take any election for granted."
Further Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused that the government is trying to woo the people ahead of this year's Lok Sabha elections.
"Is this a budget to employ the unemployed? This budget is nothing but to woo people in this year's Lok Sabha elections. Govt trying to lure people ahead of elections" Chowdhury said.
On the other hand, AAP MP Swati Maliwal claimed that the budget does not highlight inflation and unemployment which are at its peak in the country.
She said, "This is a disappointing budget. Inflation and unemployment are at their peak in the country but there is nothing about it in the budget. It is a disappointing budget for the common people. Why the budget did not state how women will get a chance of more workforce participation?"
DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran said, "The Finance Minister took a long time to hail praises but delivery was zero. They are going to present a white paper on the previous government... Nothing much has happened in the last 10 years. The people of the country are already disappointed. Moreover, you realise that performance incentives are given to the bridge companies, and not going to the deserving ones. People are rejected with this budget."