, 40 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
In just about two hours, Prime Minister @narendramodi’s government will present its last budget before elections due later this year. Experts say they’re expecting big announcements as it will be the last chance to woo voters, announce policy intent ahead of polls.
Ahead of #Budget2019, markets have opened higher.
Interim Finance Minister @PiyushGoyal begins presenting the last #Budget of the @narendramodi government.

It's expected to be a populist budget- with several policies likely to be announced with an eye on the 2019 polls.

Experts make last pitch for fiscal prudence.
Opposition benches protest as soon as @PiyushGoyal gets up to speak. The Speaker appealing for quiet.
Ruckus continues, @PiyushGoyal acknowledges @arunjaitley's absence. Says under @narendramodi the government has reversed policy paralysis, infused confidence into the country and says that India is now back on track and that it's now marching towards prosperity.
.@PiyushGoyal says the government's target and aim has been progress for all with 2022 as its target for many schemes that would improve the quality of life of average Indians.
Finance Minister (FM): controlled double digit inflation, maintained high rate of growth. Says we've brought down average inflation to 4.6%. If we'd not controlled inflation families in India would have been spending 40% more.
FM: Brought fiscal deficit down. Due to a stable regime, India could attract massive FDI in the last 5 years- as much as 239 billion dollars. We also saw liberalisation of the FDI policy.
This is the @narendramodi telling the average Indian why they should pick the @BJP4India over @INCIndia in the 2019 elections. Notice Piyush Goyal switching between Hindi and English- delivering very timely quips that come across as the government's own verdict on its success.
FM: 3 lakh crore has been recovered in favour of banks. To restore the health of public sector banks- recapitalisation has been done. Amalgamation has been done to reap economies of scale.
FM: We've fixed India's ailing banking sector. Also ushered in a new area of transparency (loud protests from the Opposition benches to this comment).
FM: We conducted transparent auction of natural resources (dig at the @INCIndia). A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, our government has achieved over 98% rural sanitation coverage. It's a holistic program that's changed the mindset of people.
FM: The poor have the first right to India's resources. Says the government kept the welfare of the poor in mind while introducing the expanded 10% reservation policy for the economically weaker sections of society (loud protests from Opposition).
FM: We've worked to bridge the urban-rural divide in India. We've undertaken targeted investment. Our aim is to keep the spirit of a village alive but provide world-class, city amenities. Construction of rural roads has tripled under our government.
FM: 153,000 lakh houses have been built in 5 years- this is 5 times that of what the previous government managed. By March 2019, every house in this country will have electricity.
Note: need to get this number double checked.
FM: 10 lakh people have been treated under the government new Modicare/Ayushman Bharat scheme.

3000 crore is the amount of money these people have saved.
FM: For farmers, we've increased the minimum price they received for their crops by 50%.

Our government has always had a pro-farmer policy.
FM: There's a need to provide structured income support for small and marginal farmers to avoid indebtedness. 6000 rupees per yr will be given to farmers as income support, will be transferred directly to farmers accounts in 3 instalments. Govt of India to fund this entirely.
FM: 12 crore farmers will benefit because of this scheme. 75000 crore is the cost of the scheme.
The big ticket announcement is here: direct cash transfer to small and marginal #farmers. Government allocates 10 billion USD roughly for this. 120 million farmers to benefit.
FM: All farmers affected by calamities will be provided the benefit of reduced interest of a total 5%.
FM: Government to launch a mega pension scheme. This will be for the organised sector workers of monthly income of upto 15000 INR. this will provide assured monthly pension of 3000 after they reach 60 years of age.
FM: The government allocates roughly 105 million USD for cow protection.
FM: Want women-led development. We promised to provide cleaner fuel in rural areas. Had promised to provide 8 crore free LPG connections. 6 crore connections have been given already. By next year, we will have met our target.
FM: On #jobs- job seekers are now job creators (loud protests from the Opposition). India is the second largest hub of start-ups. A national program on AI envisaged by government- centres of excellence will be set-up.
FM: On infrastructure, we've attained transformative changes. Now there are 100+ airports in India. Domestic passenger traffic has doubled in the last 5 years. Aviation sector's growth has led to creation of many jobs as well (no numbers provided by the FM).
FM: 27 kms of highway built everyday.

Railways has seen safest year in its history. All unmanned level crossings have been eliminated.
FM: India's rural employment guarantee programme gets a 5,000 crore INR push
FM: India's solar energy sector has grown by 10%. Says this sector is now creating 'lakhs of jobs'
FM: 3 lakh crore INR recovered from big corporate loan defaulters
FM: Mobile and mobile parts companies have increased from 2 to 268 and these companies are providing huge #jobs opportunities.
Have lost count of how many times @PiyushGoyal has referred to how the @narendramodi government's 'reform agenda' has led to job creation without specifying how many jobs have been created.
This is surreal. The interim FM @PiyushGoyal refers to the Bollywood film #Uri in the middle of his budget speech.
FM: #GST has made it easier to do business across India. The high taxes levied on commodities pre-GST has been rationalised, burden on poor and middle class has been reduced.
FM: Since the start of #GST, rates have been reduced constantly- providing 80,000 crore annual relief provided to consumers.
Second reference to #Uri in the #budget speech now.
FM: Inspite of heavy reduction of taxes, etc- tax collection has been encouraging is at 97000 crore INR per month. 1 lakh crore INR GST collection in January- (perhaps a response to economists warning against populist schemes at a time when revenue growth has been under question)
FM: Our government is committed to weeding out black money. Anti-black money measures taken in the last 4 years- black money law, demonetisation
has brought in income of 1 lakh 30,000 crore.
Post demonetisation, 1 cr 6 lakh people filled income tax for the first time.
Loud guffaws in Parliament when @PiyushGoyal speaks of his government's efforts to curb black money- lots of ruckus from Opposition benches.
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