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Hindutva flavour in Budget

Highlights

Hindutva flavour in Budget, The maiden Modi Government Budget, presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, had the flavour of Hindutva

  • New schemes named after Shyam Prasad Mukherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay
  • Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, Ganga conservation, Unity Statue of Patel, Hindu Ghats development to name a few


New Delhi:
The maiden Modi Government Budget, presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, had the flavour of Hindutva. The Finance Minister went out of the way to name new schemes of the Government after Bharatiya Jan Sangh (predecessor of BJP) Shyama Prasad Mookherjee and Jan Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay.

Yet another theme dear to the heart of the Sangh, rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants got a boost, with Jaitley earmarking Rs 500 crore in the current financial year. The RSS pet theme of Ganga found mention in the Union Budget. Christening the Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission as Namami Ganga, Jaitley made an allocation of Rs 2037 crore for it. To harness the enthusiasm of NRIs to contribute towards the conservation of the holy river, Jaitley proposed the setting up of NRI Fund for Ganga, which will finance special projects. “Substantial amount of money has been spent in the conservation and improvement of the Ganga, which has a very special sacred place in the collective consciousness of this country. However, the efforts have not yielded desired results because of the lack of concerted effort by all the stakeholders,” he said.

Jaitley set apart Rs 100 crore for Ghat development and beautification of river front at Kedarnath, Haridwar, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Patna and Delhi, in the current financial year.

The Finance Minister replaced the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission with Shyama Prasad Mookherjee Rural Urban Mission. Through the Mission urban facilities will be provided in the rural areas.

This scheme was successfully tried out in Gujarat. For providing 24x7 uninterrupted power supply to all homes he launched the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.

Giving a boost to yet another pet theme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of installing the tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Arun Jaitley proposed a sum of Rs 200 crore for the Statue of Unity.

Arun Jaitley who owes his rise to Jayaprakash Narayan during the emergency proposed to set up National Centre for Excellence in Humanities in Madhya Pradesh named after him.

The Finance Minister proposed five new circuits for Pilgrim Tourism. “India’s rich cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage provides a huge potential for the development of tourism and job creation as an Industry. I propose to create 5 tourist circuits around specific themes and set aside a sum of Rs 500 crore for this purpose,” he said.

National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) will be launched in this financial year and a sum of Rs 100 crore has been set aside for this purpose. National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) will also be launched for conserving and preserving the heritage characters of pilgrim centres such as Mathura, Amritsar, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Vellankani and Ajmer.

He set aside a sum of Rs 200 crore for this purpose. The project will work through a partnership of government, academic institutions and local community combining affordable technologies. Archeological sites preservation, he said, requires urgent attention lest the ancient heritage is lost to all future generations. For this purpose, he earmarked a sum of Rs 100 crore. A Buddhist Circuit, comprising Sarnath-Gaya-Varanasi, would also be developed with world class tourist amenities to attract tourists from all over the world, he said.

Goa, which had emerged as a major international convention centre and is the permanent venue for International Film Festival of India, needed to develop world class convention facilities, he said. This could best be done in close collaboration with the private sector. Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Jaitley said the government intends to cover every household by total sanitation by the year 2019, the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi, through Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan. Interestingly, 24x7 TV Channel for the North-East has been named as Arun Prabha which includes his first name.


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