No, FM Nirmala Sitharaman did not claim that Modi govt distributed 35,000 crore LED bulbs

A screengrab of leading news channel CNBC Awaaz is being shared on social media. It quotes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claiming during her maiden budget that BJP government has distributed 35,000 crores LED bulbs in the country. A twitter handle @AlkaMaverick posted the screenshot with the message, “ये LED बल्ब किसको मिला है???? मुझे तो नहीं मिला..आपको??? (Who got this LED bulb? I didn’t get it, did you?)”. 

The comments of several users on Facebook and Twitter testify that many people believed the Finance Minister to have made the statement.

Preeti Chobey, the national executive member of the Samajwadi Party, also tweeted the same screenshot and took a jibe at the ruling party.

Fact-check

Upon watching the complete July 5 budget speech of Nirmala Sitharaman, Alt News found that the figure cited by CNBC Awaz was incorrect. In her speech, the Finance Minister claimed that 35 crore (and not 35,000 crore) LED bulbs were distributed in the country.

In the video posted below, Sitharaman can be heard saying at 1:06:48, “Approximately 35 crore LED bulbs have been distributed under UJALA Yojana, leading to cost saving of Rs 18,341 crores annually.”

The same was cross-checked with the text of her speech available on Indiabuget.gov.in, the official website of the Union Budget under the GOI’s Finance Ministry.

Alt News contacted a source within CNBC Awaaz who informed that “35,000” LED bulbs was a typo made during the broadcast and was corrected soon after it came to the organisation’s notice.

In conclusion, a screengrab of CNBC Awaaz’s broadcast, where the news channel had mistakenly quoted the FM, was circulated on social media to question and target the BJP government.

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