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146 Days ago

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New Delhi: Hailing the general budget 2016-17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the government has tried to reach out to the poor by giving due importance to all important sectors like defence, health and infrastructure.

"Ask a common man, ask a poor man. They have a dream to own a house and the government can help them fulfil that dream," Modi said in his post-budget comments televised on national TV.

He said the budget has provisions that will strengthen the housing sector in the country. "Through this budget, the housing sector will be strengthened and this will boost our dream of 'Housing for All'." Modi said people who live on rent would also be benefited as they would get rebate on income tax.

The prime minister also emphasised on alloting cooking gas connections to over five crore poor people across the country, as the women who cook on traditional 'chullahs' end up inhaling a lot of smoke which is a health hazard.

Modi said the general budget was focused on the development of agriculture, farmers, women and rural areas. "The budget clearly calls for electrifying all villages thus giving an impetus to rural infrastructure," he said in his comments. In his budget speech in the Lok Sabha earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will provide assistance to those looking to purchase their first homes.

The finance minister announced deduction in additional interest of Rs.50,000 per annum for loans up to Rs.35 lakh sanctioned in 2016-17 for first time home buyers, where house cost does not exceed Rs.50 lakh.

The government also proposed to provide relief to millions of families living in rented houses in the country. "Deduction for rent paid will be raised from Rs.20,000 to Rs.60,000 to benefit those living in rented houses," Jaitley said.  (IANS)

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