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Elders criticise Union Budget 2003-04

Rajya Sabha members criticised the Budget for its "failure" to come out with a blue print to plug leakages in revenue.

business Updated: Mar 13, 2003 15:02 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Rajya Sabha members on Thursday criticised the Union Budget for its "failure" to come out with a blue print to plug leakages in revenue due to corruption and inadequate allocation to defence which needed upgradation of its combat skills.

Participating in the resumed debate on the Budget, PC Alexander said corruption was the root cause for growing non-performing assets of public sector banks and leakages in revenue, particularly in customs and excise duty collections.

If only that corruption was tackled, the country need not have to wait till 2020 to become a developed nation, he said adding the Budget unfortunately had very little measures to effectively deal with corruption in tax administration and banks.

Congress member Suresh Kalmadi was critical of the Budget for cut in the allocation for defence, affecting the combat readiness of armed forces.

He suggested the allocation should be put under non-lapsable category in order to enable armed forces to plan long term strategy through modernisation.

Kalmadi regretted that despite assurances by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to step up allocation for sports by five times, nothing of this sort has happened.

Fali S Nariman said peace and amity should be the cornerstone for boosting investment -- both domestic and foreign.

First Published: Mar 13, 2003 15:02 IST