As Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021 for a very crucial year for the domestic and global economy on Monday, she started her speech by talking about the plight brought to us and the economy by 2020 and the novel coronavirus pandemic and the important roles played by the government to help the economy during the pandemic.
She said, "The preparation of this budget was taken in circumstances like never before. We knew of calamities that have affected a country or a region within a country, but what we have endured with COVID-19 in 2020 is Sui generis. When I presented the budget for 2020-2021, we could not have imagined that the global economy would be pushed into its unprecedented contraction. We also could not have imagined that people of ours and other countries would have to endure the loss of near and dear ones and suffer hardships brought about due to a health crisis. The risk of not having a lockdown was far too high."
She highlighted the work done by the government during the lockdown and said, "The Government stretched its resources for the benefit of the poorest of the poor. The PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, the three Aatma Nirbhar Bharat packages, and subsequent announcements were like five mini-budgets in themselves."
While talking about the role played by self-reliant India or Atmanirbhar Bharat package in 2020, she stated, "In May 2020, Government announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, to sustain the recovery further we also rolled out two more Atmanirbhar packages. The total financial impact of all packages including measures taken by RBI was estimated to be about Rs 27.1 lakh crores."
While referring to the promises made it Budget 2015-16, she also assured everyone by saying, "Additionally also on the path of fast implementation are our 13 promises we had made in Budget 2015-16 which will materialize during the Amrit Mahotsav of 2022 on 75th year of our Independence, to resonate with the vision of Aatmanirbharta."
"Within 48 hours of announcing a three-month-long complete lockdown, the Prime Minister had announced the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojna valued at 2.76 lakh crores which provided free food and grains to 800 million people, free cooking gas for 80 million families for months, and cash directly to over 400 million farmers," the FM said while focussing on the contribution of the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana.