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New Delh: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that the Union Budget 2021-2022 has set the pace for India to become 'Aatmanirbhar' (self-reliant) as it draws from the experience of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.

While replying to the discussion on the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman mentioned that there were various challenges before the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it focussed both on "stimulus plus reforms".

"The government turned the pandemic as an opportunity," the Finance Minister said.

She said a challenging situation like the pandemic didn't deter the government from taking up reforms that are going to be necessary for sustaining long term growth for the country to boost the economy.

Sitharaman's speech marks the end of the first part of the Budget session of Parliament.

Replying to the general discussion on the Union Budget which she presented on February 1, Sitharaman said, "Stimulus plus reforms - an opportunity has been taken out of the pandemic situation. A challenging situation like pandemic didn't deter the government from taking up reforms that are going to be necessary for sustaining long term growth for this country."

The minister also said that "the Union Budget has set the pace for India to become Aatmanirbhar".

She later mentioned that the Budget 2021-22 draws from the experience of the Prime Minister when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat and he had seen so many revivals happening at that time.

"This Budget draws from the experience of the PM when he was CM - on the ground in Gujarat, seen so many revivals happening at a time when the licence quota raj was going away post-1991 and then based on that experience, commitment to reform was blended into this Budget," she added.

The minister mentioned how from then 'Jan Sangh' to now "we consistently believed in India and its growth".

"Respecting Indian entrepreneurial skills, Indian managerial skills, Indian trade skills, Indian business skills, Indian youth, Jan Sangh onwards, BJP has consistently believed in India. We didn't borrow something from somewhere and gave a hybrid," Sitharaman said.

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