Budget a let-down, designed to deceive people, says Oppn
The Opposition parties on Monday asserted that the Union budget was a ‘let down like never before’ that will “deceive” people even as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) called it a vision for an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The Congress said it was a case of ‘wrong diagnosis and prescription’ and that Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman remained ‘timid’ in helping the poor.
Upping the ante against the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posted on Twitter: “Forget putting cash in the hands of people, Modi government plans to handover India’s assets to his crony capitalist friends.”
While addressing the media later in the day, former finance minister P Chidambaram accused Sitharaman of “deceiving” those who listened to her speech, especially the Members of Parliament (MPs) who had no clue that she had imposed cesses on a large number of products, including petroleum and diesel -- ₹2.50 per litre on petrol and ₹4 per litre on diesel.
“It was a vengeful act against the thousands of farmers who took out the longest tractor rally in history. It was also a cruel blow to federalism because the states do not get a share of the revenue from cesses,” Chidambaram told reporters.
The senior Congress leader called the move a “cruel blow” to the common people, including the farmers. “She deceived the people of India, especially the poor, the working class, the migrants, the farmers, the industrial units that were closed down permanently, and those who had lost their jobs, both regular and informal, and are still looking for jobs,” he said.
He also attacked the finance minister for not discussing the defence sector, “as if the Chinese had vacated the occupied Indian Territory”. “The fiscal numbers show that the fiscal situation is in a mess. The Revenue Deficit (7.5%) and the Fiscal Deficit (9.5%) in the current year have exceeded every prediction, including the gvernment’s,” he said.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the budget would not help in the “V shaped recovery of the economy.” “It will lead to a K-shaped -- rich becoming richer, poor poorer—economy,” he added.
Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’Brien said the budget was 100% “visionless” and its theme was “sell India”. “India’s first paperless budget is also a 100% visionless budget. Theme of the fake budget is Sell India!” he tweeted.
The Nationalist Congress Party termed the annual financial plan as disappointing amidst the coronavirus pandemic and a move towards privatisation.