India’s poll-oriented budget doesn’t address unemployment, inflation: Opposition

Terming the Union Budget 2023-24 as “disappointing”, they said it was not addressing the real sentiment of the country..


Budget Session in Parliament (Photo: SNS)

February 2, 2023

NEW DELHI – Terming the Union Budget 2023-24 presented by Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Wednesday as “disappointing”, the Opposition on Wednesday said the Budget was presented keeping in mind the next year’s Lok Sabha elections and it was not addressing the real sentiment of the country, which is unemployment and price rise.

Reacting to the Union Budget, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the Budget was presented by the Modi government keeping in view the upcoming Assembly polls in 3-4 states.

“There is nothing in the Budget for poor people and to control inflation. No steps for jobs, to fill government vacancies & MGNREGA,” he said.

As a counter, BJP president JP Nadda hailed the Union Budget and said, “First budget of Amrit Kaal shows the visionary & far-sighted leadership of PM Modi. This budget shows our stable economy, power of young India & multicultural work ethics. This budget highlights the core vision of PM Modi as it brings schemes for people at the bottom of the pyramid.”

On the other hand, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said the government is not addressing the serious concerns of the country’s economic condition and the common man’s plight.

Stating that people are in distress in the country, he said, “The actual problem is whether the Budget is addressing the current economic issues including price rise, and unemployment. There is no income for the people. How can they benefit by increasing the tax limit?”

But hailing the Union Budget, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said it was a revolutionary budget that will give relief to every section of society.

“New income-tax rates give relief to individuals. The outlay for PM Awaas Yojana has been enhanced by 66 per cent in this budget, I welcome this,” he said.

Venugopal also targeted the government for a poor track record of fulfilling promises.

“You have to examine the past promises in the budget. How much have they been fulfilled? The government has promised lot many programmes for the farmers but nothing has been fulfilled. This government’s track record of fulfilling promises is very low. They may announce anything in the budget like their manifesto,” he said.

The Congress leader said this Budget is not addressing the real sentiment of the country that is unemployment and price rise. “It only had fancy announcements that were made earlier too but what about implementation? Only insurance companies were benefited from PM Kisan Yojana not farmers,” the Congress general secretary said.

Congress leader K Suresh called it a “pro-corporate budget”.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shatrughan Sinha said the Union Budget had a major focus on “Hum Do Humare Do” and had nothing special for the people belonging to the middle-class strata.

“The budget was presented keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and there was nothing special mention for the middle-class people. Looking at the budget, it seems as if it has been created to specially care about the ‘Hum Do Humare Do’ as it is evident from the significantly reduced highest slab for Income Tax payers. People understand it well whom have they done it for,” Shatrughan Sinha said.

Reacting to the Budget, JD (U) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh said there was nothing in the Union Budget. “It is like ‘Sapno Ka Saudagar’ – nothing comes true when you wake up after a dream. Also, nothing was mentioned about how to control inflation and unemployment,” he said.

BSP chief Mayawati took a veiled jibe at the Centre for its Union Budget presented in the Parliament and said that it should be for the country instead of being for a party.

“Whenever the Centre talks about the beneficiaries of a scheme, it must remember that India is a vast country of about 130 crore poor peoples, labourers, deprived citizens, farmers etc who are yearning for their Amrit Kaal. It is better if the budget is more for the country than for a party,” BSP chief Mayawati said in a series of tweets. Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said that the presented budget has been very much similar to the ones presented in the last nine years with huge promises and announcements being showered on the common citizens.

Earlier in the day, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023 in Lok Sabha. This was the third time in a row that the government presented the budget in a paperless form.

Highlights of the Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister included big incentives under the new income tax regime. The IT rebate limit in the new regime has been increased from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh and the new tax regime will be the default tax regime, the Union Finance Minister said. Capital expenditure outlay has been increased by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, accounting for 3.3 per cent of the GDP.

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