Union Budget 2019: Government Honours 'Mother Cow', Ahead Of Elections

Union Budget 2019:  Government Honours

 Government Honours 'Mother Cow',  Ahead Of Elections 

New Delhi: The Budget which was announced by Union Minister, Piyush Goyal talked about farmers,  the middle class, and also cows. Yes, cows. The Cow- themed announcement in the interim budget was slammed by the critics, as entirely targeted at the national election, due by May.

"This government will never shy away from honouring our mother cow," Piyush Goyal, interim finance minister, said in his speech in parliament, which lasted one hour, 45 minutes.

Piyush Goyal, shortly after beginning his speech, announced the "Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog" or "national cow board" to look after the welfare of cows and boost dairy production.

The opposition attacked the ruling government saying that the reference to the cow fed criticism is catering to the party's right-wing supporters and hardliners; the opposition has in the past accused the government of going soft on cow vigilantism and mob lynching in the name of cow protection.

Apart from cows, the government announced that small and marginal farmers will receive direct annual handouts of around 6,000 rupees, at a cost of Rs. 75,000 crore to the government.

Other measures included a full tax rebate for those earning up to Rs. 5,000.

After the BJP's election defeats in three major states, it was anticipated that the government will make major announcements in the Budget. Besides the farmer distress, a jobs crisis and middle class anger over prices was assessed as the factors that sank the government in the state polls.

(With inputs from AFP)