Saptarishi to guide nation in Amrit Kaal: Sitharaman
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who presented her fifth straight Budget on Wednesday, listed seven priorities — Saptarishi (seven priorities) — to guide the country through the Amrit Kaal, the 25-year journey towards its centenary as a modern nation.

This was the last full Budget of the Modi 2.0 government before the 2024 general elections.

“The Budget adopts…seven priorities. They complement each other and act as the ‘Saptarishi’ guiding us through the Amrit Kaal,” she said in her 87-minute Budget Speech.

The seven priorities are Inclusive Development; Reaching the Last Mile; Infrastructure and Investment; Unleashing the Potential; Green Growth; Youth Power; and Financial Sector.

The inclusive development will focus on ‘agriculture and cooperation’, national digital library for children and adolescents; teachers’ training; and medical research; among other areas.

‘Reaching the Last Mile’ priority is about aspirational districts and block programme, Eklavya Model Residential Schools, water for the drought-prone region and PM Awas Yojna, besides other objectives.

The finance minister also provided details about the other five priority areas.

“This Budget hopes to build on the foundation laid in the previous Budget, and the blueprint drawn for India@100.

“We envision a prosperous and inclusive India, in which the fruits of development reach all regions and citizens, especially our youth, women, farmers, OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” the minister said.

In the 75th year of the country’s independence, Sitharaman said the world has recognised the Indian economy as a ‘bright star’.

“Our current year’s economic growth is estimated to be at 7 per cent. It is notable that this is the highest among all the major economies,” she said, adding this is in spite of the massive slowdown globally caused by COVID-19 and a war.

Sitharaman further said the Indian economy is therefore on the right track, and despite a time of challenges, heading towards a bright future.

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