Terming the union budget as "timid", former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said it "lacked in the big picture" and P Chidambaram has "missed" a golden opportunity to pursue big ticket reforms.
"The Government would like us to believe that the growth rate would accelerate from 8-10 per cent. If this was the declared objective, the budget was a disappointment. We would have expected the Finance Minister to present a bold and courageous budget. The government has lost an opportunity", he told reporters.
Alleging that the inflation was being kept artificially low, he said Chidambaram has not touched upon the comprehensive recommendations including on duty structure changes nor has he given any explanation on it.
Maintaining that soft interest rates played a key role in the country's development, he said while interest rates were hardening, there was a liquidity crunch in the economy and industrial growth has declined.
While welcoming the move to keep the interest rate of short term loans for farmers at seven per cent, he regretted that the budget has not made any reference to the Farm Income Insurance Scheme.