All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson and Haryana MLA, Randeep Singh Surjewala, on Saturday said the Union budget presented by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government can be aptly described in four 'Ds' - "disappointment for common man, discouragement for farmers, denuding rural upsurge and denying growth".
In a statement, Surjewala said the budget has exposed the "anti-rural, anti-farmer and anti-common man" face of the BJP regime.
The AICC spokesperson said finance minister Arun Jaitely has lost an opportunity of big ticket reforms, phenomenal agricultural growth, creation of jobs, preservation of social welfare schemes, promotion of infrastructure and reduction of inflation in prices by resorting to "mere rhetoric" that lacked substance.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley must answer people of India about the fate of the much-touted promise of 'achhe din','' he said.
Surjewala said the agriculture sector was the biggest casualty of the Union budget. "The economic survey 2015 itself reflects that agriculture growth has gone down from 4.7% under Congress regime in 2013-14 to 1.1% under BJP government in 2014-15. Even the total grain output is likely to fall from 2650 lakh metric tons in 2013-14 to 2570 lakh metric tons in 2014-15. Area under cultivation has also gone down by 33.22 lakh hectares in 2014-15 on account of anti-farmers policy," he said'.
The Congress leader said an acute urea fertilizer crisis prevailed under Modi's rule with the Central government importing only 17.37 lakh tons of urea in June-October 2014 against 43.82 lakh tons a year earlier by the Congress government.
"The budget is totally silent about implementation of Swaminathan Commission Report. In fact, prices of main agriculture crops like Basmati rice have fallen from Rs 6000-6500 per quintal a year ago to Rs 3200-3300 per quintal this season and cotton prices have fallen from Rs 5300-5500 per quintal a year ago to Rs 3800-4000 per quintal this season," he added.
The Haryana MLA said the common man and people belongign to the salaried class were feeling cheated by denial of any benefit in the personal income tax. "No incentives have been offered for savings. The much publicized pension scheme for common man only envisages a maximum contribution of Rs 5,000 over a period of five years from the Union government, making it redundant. As against this, the finance minister has promised a reduction of 5% in corporate tax," Surjewala said.