Interim Budget 2019: From 'historic', 'second surgical strike' to 'damp squib', here's who said what

The Interim Budget 2019 evoked a mixed response from several quarters. Here are some top political reactions.

Interim Budget 2019: From 'historic', 'second surgical strike' to 'damp squib', here's who said what

NEW DELHI: In a big bonanza for the country's middle class in an election year, the Narendra Modi government on Friday proposed various tax sops including tax exemption for individual annual incomes of Rs 5 lakh, all of which add up to taking individual incomes up to Rs 9.5 lakhs outside the tax net.

Presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed doubling the tax exemption threshold for individual annual incomes from the current Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Individuals with yearly income within the proposed limit will not have to pay any income tax for the next fiscal. 

Interim Budget 2019 - Here are the key figures

He also proposed increasing the standard deduction limit by Rs 10,000 and raising the tax deducted at source (TDS) threshold on interest earned on bank and post office deposits which would benefit small depositors. Besides proposing that standard deduction will be increased to Rs.50,000 from the current Rs.40,000 to benefit the salaried class, Goyal said individuals with annual incomes of Rs.6.5 lakh and who have invested in various tax savings schemes will not have to pay income tax.

According to the Minister, with additional deductions such as interest on home loans, national pension scheme contribution, medical expenditure on senior citizens, individuals with even higher income will not have to pay tax. While some called the Interim Budget 2019 'historic', some others called it an insult for farmers and the salaried class. Here are are some of the top political reactions: 

Narendra Modi, PM

This is an Interim Budget. This is just a trailer of the budget which, after elections, will take India on the path to development. It's generosity and honesty of middle class and the upper middle class which provides tax to the nation through which schemes are formulated and there is the welfare of the poor. There was always the demand to exempt those, with annual income upto Rs 5 Lakh, from taxation. Our government has fulfilled this.

Amit Shah, BJP chief

The budget has met the expectations of farmers, labourers & middle class. By bearing a cost of Rs 75,000 crore,the govt will implement Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. This scheme will also benefit those farmers who do not take loans.

Sumitra Mahajan, LS Speaker

This budget is for everyone and is a good one. Work will go on like this. 

Rajnath Singh, Home Minister

The Interim Budget presented by the FM Piyush Goyal is "historic". It is aimed at strengthening the economy and will benefit all sections of society.

Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister 

The Interim Budget 2019 is a "surgical strike on the Opposition". This is the second surgical strike. First surgical strike was when our soldiers fought with bullets at the border and it will be the ballot this year. The Budget will benefit farmers.

RK Singh, Union Minister 

I advice the Opposition to welcome the Budget and it felt like a surgical strike on the Opposition. It was shell-shocked. It should be happy because the people are happy.

Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister

Interim Budget will benefit the common man and the service class. It benefits the poor population too. Such a Budget has been presented after many years and it would help in empowering people of this country.

Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister

The opposition has no issues to talk about, they are scared of Modi Ji’s welfare schemes.  We don’t do votebank politics, we do development politics. We are dedicated to take Indian farmers to new heights.

Radha Mohan Singh, Union Minister

We have also issued guidelines for Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. In 2018-19 financial year, for months before March, Rs 2000 will be transferred to farmers' accounts and, in the financial year 2019-20, farmers will get Rs 6000.

P Chidambaram, Congress

My one line comment on the budget is that it is not a Vote on Account but an 'account for votes'.

Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP

There was a lot of fantasy language and castles being constructed in the air but very little actually happening in real terms. However, the tax exemptions introduced for the middle-class is a welcome step.

Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM

Interim Budget 2019 has no value. Who will implement this (interim budget)? Will the new government that will come after election implement this budget? Before the election, a vote on account is placed.

Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM

Final 'jumla' of Narendra Modi government. Its Interim Budget too completely disappoints Delhi.

Naveen Patnaik, Odisha CM

I welcome tax benefits for middle and lower income groups. I welcome direct benefit transfer to both small and marginal farmers on lines of our KALIA Scheme. However, it would've benefitted farmers more if the quantum of assistance is equal or more than KALIA Scheme.

Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM

I welcome the decision to transfer Rs 6000 directly to farmers' accounts every year. It will strengthen the economic conditions of rural areas. Also, I welcome the decision of tax rebate for taxpayers with annual income up to Rs 5 lakh. It'll give relief to the middle-class.