Govt failed on inflation, says BJP
The discussion on general budget began in the Rajya Sabha, with BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad saying the Centre failed to address issues such as inflation, black money and fiscal prudence, besides lacking the initiatives to propel growth.
Contending BJP charges, Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who opened the discussions for the treasury benches, said the budget is "inclusive, reform-oriented, creative and transformative" and also showed that "good politics and good economics need not be divorced."
Prasad said while foodgrain was rotting, inflation had seen a meteoric rise against a backdrop where 80% children and 70% women are suffering from malnutrition.
He said the Centre has failed to bring down inflation and was only making 'pious wish' that it would come down next year. Prasad said government policies are creating disparities as "the poor are becoming poorer and the rich richer."
Singhvi began his speech by decoding the "genetic code" of the budget which he said is the acronym-DIRECT.
D, stands for discipline, I, for inclusive, R for reform oriented, E for a expenditure growth reduction, C for creative and T transformative, he said.
"I think this budget has shown more than any other that good politics and good economics need not be divorced", the Congress leader said.
He said 'inclusion' is the identity not only of the budget, but also the identity of UPA-I and of UPA-II. He said no country in the world had even imagined, social welfare programmes initiated by UPA-I and UPA-II.
"That trend of inclusion, that momentum, that direction, that speed continues. It delineates and describes the very heart and soul of UPA-I and II," he said.
"Our social sector total allocations have reached just behind our defence budget. There is a small gap - Rs 1,60,000 crores for social sector spending and R1,64,000 for the defence sector," he said, terming it a revolutionary change in the thinking.