FM Nirmala Sitharaman Interview: Budget 2024 didn't have any sops announced, we treated it like true vote on account

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday said Budget 2024 did not announce any sops as the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi treated it like a true vote on account.
In an exclusive interview with Rahul Joshi, Editor-in-Chief, Network18, a day after presenting Interim Budget 2024, Finance Minister Sitharaman said, “We treated it like a true vote on account, an interim budget before an election.”
She further said the Budget 2024 on Thursday (1 February) was presented with clear understanding that several programmes which were launch with empowerment of citizens in mind over the last 10 years are reaching the ground and the beneficiaries are already on their own speaking about it.
‘Place a lot of trust in word of mouth’
The Finance Minister further said she places a lot of trust is word of mouth. She said: “The power of word of mouth is very strong, so when a beneficiary gets truly the benefit, and without any middle man playing a role in it, they really understand that the intent of the government is what is said is what is getting executed.”
“So I place a lot of trust in word of mouth which has helped in schemes like Ujjwala Yojana, PM Awas Yojana, PM Mudra Yojana, SVANidhi Yojana, all of which have benefitted the small households and people who want to do the business and do not have money to give collaterals,” Sitharaman added.
‘PM Modi’s vision serving common people in letter & spirit’
FM Sitharaman further said, “This government has actually, because of the vision with which the Prime Minister is committed to serve this country, is actually serving the common people in letter and spirit and that is recognised by the people themselves. The people in the ground are saying about it.”
‘People on ground talking about programs, this is secularism in action’
“I have used an expression and I mean it when I have said it that ‘this is secularism in action.’ This is where we have not shown any difference between members belonging to different communities, religions. The (beneficial) project reaches the ground for everybody who deserves to get it and if they are eligible they get it, irrespective of who they are,” the Finance Minister said in an interview to Network18.
“Therefore, in every way, the principle of empowerment, the Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas has been executed in every way and that is the sense of the confidence that the blessings of people are not just at the time when we gave promises but blessings are, even now, coming in abundantly that yes you have kept your words,” Sitharaman said.

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