iconimg Sunday, July 05, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 16, 2012
The entire opposition ranging from the left to the right was united in its criticism of the "anti-people" Union budget presented in Parliament by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday.

The main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party, led the NDA assault on the budget and former party president Rajnath Singh termed it a "huge disappointment".

"Spiralling prices have already dented the purchasing power of the aam admi ... A higher service tax rate will add to the expenses of the aam admi on all fronts and inflation will once again eat up the major part of household budgets," Singh said.

His party colleague Shahnawaz Hussain said the budget was a betrayal of the common man.

Left parties were more strident in their criticism.

"It is extremely regressive and inflationary," said CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu.

"This budget will result in pushing up prices and imposing greater burden on the working people. The bias towards corporates and the rich in this budget is clearly visible," Basu said.

Lok Sabha CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said it was a "purposeless and clerical" budget.

"It looks like a clerical budget. We didn't need a finance minister to make this. It will not contain inflation and not promote growth," Dasgupta said.

His colleague D Raja said there had been no increase in taxes on companies and the government's only resolve appeared to be to expedite the disinvestment of public sector units. No steps have been announced to control inflation or generate employment."

Lok Sabha Biju Janata Dal chief whip Bhartruhari Mahtab said: "This is a highly inflationary budget. The mounting regional disparity has not been addressed. This budget will badly hit the lower and middle income groups."

Chief ministers of opposition-ruled states spoke out strongly against the budget.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar termed it a disappointing exercise by a "lame duck government".

"The Union budget presented by a lame duck government at the centre is useless and disappointing. There is nothing substantial in the financial proposals to boost the economy or benefit the people," Kumar said.

Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said the budget was against the common man.

"It is highly deplorable on the part of the UPA, which claims to safeguard the rights of the common man, to further accentuate the woes of the poor and middle class by presenting an anti-poor and anti-common man budget," he said in a statement.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the budget would lead to price rise.

"Due to policy-related uncertainty and lack of political will power, no significant measures have been proposed in the budget to check inflation."

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa found the Union budget anti-people, inflationary and one that reflected the policy paralysis that had gripped the government.

(With inputs from Chennai)