Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said this year’s Union Budget has strengthened the middle class and given it more relief than was given by the UPA regime.
For income on which the UPA government imposed as much as 20 per cent tax, this budget has zero tax, Modi said, after flagging off two Vande Bharat trains from Mumbai to Solapur and Shirdi.
“Be it the salaried class or the middle class earning from trade and commerce, this Budget has made them happy,” the PM said, speaking after the flag off ceremony at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in south Mumbai.
“This budget has strengthened the middle class,” he said.
Modi said there was a time when MPs used to write letters requesting a minute or two minutes stop at stations in their areas, but now they demand a Vande Bharat trains.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union minister Narayan Rane, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were present at the event.
The Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat Express will cover the 455 km distance between Mumbai and the textile city in 6 hours and 30 minutes, a saving of nearly one hour in current timings.
The Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat Express will take 5 hours and 25 minutes to cover the 343 km distance to the temple town.
The one-way fare without catering service on the CSMT-Solapur Vande Bharat train will be Rs 1,000 for chair car and Rs 2,015 for executive chair car, while the fares for the two classes with catering will be Rs 1,300 and Rs 2,365 respectively, a CR official said.
The one-way journey ticket without catering service for CSMT to Sainagar Shirdi will be Rs 840 and Rs 1670 for chair car and executive chair car respectively, while the ticket prices with catering service will be Rs 975 and Rs 1840 respectively.
This is Modi's second visit to the city in less than a month. On January 19, the PM inaugurated and laid foundation stones for infrastructure and healthcare projects worth more than Rs 38,000 crore in Mumbai.
His visit assumes significance in view of the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation polls.
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