New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Monday termed this year’s Budget as revolutionary and historic. Gadkari said it is a step towards becoming a five trillion dollar economy and infrastructure development worth Rs 111 lakh crore.
“It will help realise Prime Minister Modi’s dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-dependent India). The Budget will take the country further on the development path. India will get world-class roads within the next five years,” said Gadkari, one of the senior-most ministers in the Modi government.
In an exclusive interview to IANS at his residence, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari rejected the Opposition’s allegation of the Budget being a populist document released with the elections in mind. On a question about announcing a largesse of funds for road projects in election-bound states of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Kerala, he said: “The finance minister may have named four states, but we are working for every state. Our ministry is working on projects worth Rs 60,000 crore in Delhi, between Rs 2.25 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh crore in Uttar Pradesh, Rs two lakh crore in Bihar, Rs 60,000 crore in Kashmir and Rs 2.5 lakh crore in Karnataka. We are not doing injustice to any state. Our goal is Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.”
The Congress says the Modi government is working to benefit only a few capitalists. Rejecting this charge, Gadkari accused the Congress of misleading people. “The Congress is playing politics to confuse the people on the Budget. It is a Budget that is beneficial for the village, the poor and farmers.”
On the question of a new scrapping policy for vehicles, the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister said the step will help slash pollution levels. “The import of petrol and diesel will also be reduced. New employment opportunities will emerge. The size of automobile industry, which stands at 4.5 lakh crore at present, will expand to six lakh crore. The ministry will issue a new scraping policy within the next fortnight,” added Gadkari.