The Left parties today accused the government of not taking any step to check high prices, poverty, unemployment or corruption, saying the budget was aimed at burdening the poor and subsidising the rich.
The CPI(M) said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee promised to bring in or amend seven legislations to liberalise the financial sector and attract FDI which the UPA-I government could not do because of Left opposition.
"These measures would provide greater access to foreign finance capital to domestic financial sector which will be disastrous. Removal of protection to domestic sector will lead to its increased dependence on foreign markets and their volatility will impact us," senior party leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here.
While direct tax concessions of Rs 11,500 crore have been given to primarily benefit the corporates, a hike of Rs 11,300 crore through indirect taxes would affect the vast masses of people, he said.
He said the government voluntarily did not collect taxes worth Rs 1,38,921 crore from the corporates in 2010-11. Similarly, the tax foregone in 2009-10 was Rs 1,18,930 crore.
"The government has thus given away about Rs four lakh crore in the last three years," Yechury said, adding if this amount was collected and spent on building infrastructure, it would have generated employment and thereby domestic demand by increasing the purchasing power of the people.
On corruption, he said there was nothing concrete on the blackmoney issue barring "an intention of joining the global crusade" against it. "This falls short of even what has been promised in the President's address to Parliament," he said.
On the other hand, there has been no mention in the budget on rolling back the hikes in petro-product prices and nothing on banning or even suspending forward trading in foodgrains. Both these issues would have had a major impact on prices of foodgrains and other essential commodities, he said.
While the current food stock in government godowns was "double than the buffer norms, there is no mention of releasing this excess stock through PDS to the states".
CPI leader D Raja described the budget as the Congress-led government's commitment to strengthen crony capitalism and said it has failed to address concerns like inflation, growing inequalities, poverty and unemployment.
The thrust of the budget was financial sector liberalisation, inviting FDI in banking and insurance sectors, disinvesting PSUs and giving all concessions to the private sector, he said.