The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday rejected the union budget, terming it a lacklustre and visionless budget that would retard the country's growth and further increase inflation, crushing the common man.
Describing the Congress-led UPA government as "East India Company of modern India", SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the budget had focused on handing over all assets of the country to multinational companies (MNCs).
In a statement issued here, Sukhbir dubbed it as a "munim's budget" that had failed to live up to people's aspirations. He said there was nothing in the budget that would improve the investors' confidence or give a fillip to growth, adding that the country should remain prepared for a long period of economic recession.
Describing it as the farewell budget of the UPA government, Sukhbir accused the UPA of not giving income tax relief to the common man, besides ignoring the challenges of agriculture and the manufacturing sector. He said Punjab's agricultural sector had been totally ignored by the union finance minister as not a single penny had been sanctioned for its diversification in the state.
Sukhbir said the state government had submitted a comprehensive diversification plan so that the country's granary could meet the food requirement of increasing population, but the focus of the union budget remained on filling coffers of MNCs.
Decrying the finance minister's efforts to reduce subsidy on petrol, diesel, fertilisers and other essential commodities, Sukhbir said the Congress-led UPA government, "in its final year", was bent upon mortgaging the country to MNCs, which could not be allowed.