Budget 2020: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman broke her own record and delivered the longest Union Budget speech. Her first budget speech was 137 minutes long, while this speech was 159 minutes long. The minister could not wrap up her speech and abruptly stopped her budget speech.
Towards the end of her address to the Lok Sabha, Nirmala Sitharaman told the speaker, "There are only two more pages. Sir, I think I will lay the rest of the pages, Sir." Sitharaman appeared unwell towards the end of the speech.
FULL COVERAGE: Union Budget 2020
The Congress party lashed out at the minister and said that it might have been the longest but the Budget 2020 was lacklustre. "The main issue facing is unemployment. I didn't see any strategic idea that would help our youth get jobs. I saw tactical stuff but no central idea. It describes the government well, lot of repetition and rambling. It is the mindset of government -- all talk, but nothing happening. Maybe this was the longest Budget speech in history but it had nothing, it was hollow," said Rahul Gandhi.
The party also said, "Longest Budget speech and most lacklustre. After Acche Din and New India, it appears they have also abandoned USD 5 trillion economy target."
The minister announced a host of measures in her Budget speech. Some of the prominent ones included change in the income tax slabs and the government selling part of its holding in national insurer LIC. FM Sitharaman said that the government is aiming to double the income of the farmers by 2022. As part of the measure for the agriculture sector, the minister announced Kisan Rail and Krishi UDAN. The finance minister added that there will be more than 100 new airports under the UDAN scheme by 2025.
The Finance Minister also spoke about GST and paid homage to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who she credited as the 'architect' of the national tax.
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