Budget: Goyal pitches for bridging urban-rural divide

New Delhi: Presenting the Interim Budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal today said the country’s poor have the first right over nation’s resources and pitched for bridging the urban-rural divide.

“We plan to provide urban facilities in rural areas while preserving soul of village,” he stated.

Referring to allegations of giving of rampant loans over phone during the UPA regime, Goyal said, “We have stopped culture of phone banking.” He also informed that Rs 3 lakh crore have been recovered from big corporate loan defaulters. Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Bank of Maharashtra have been removed from the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework of the RBI, he stated, adding, he hoped other banks too would soon come out of the PCA.

The NDA government had the guts to ask RBI to look at bad loans and present correct picture to nation. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was helping recover non-performing loans, said the Finance Minister. “Even big businessmen are now worried about loans,” he stated.

Goyal also highlighted the achievements of the government and mentioned the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Over 98 per cent rural sanitation coverage has been achieved and about 5.4 lakh villages have been made open defecation-free, he said.

Goyal, stepped in as interim finance minister after Arun Jaitley had to fly to New York for medical treatment.

NT Bureau