New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) Attacking the Centre over Budget 2022-23, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday said there were significant cuts in allocation of social welfare schemes, no measures to address rising inflation and nil targeted effort for job creation.
Initiating the discussion on the Budget in Lok Sabha, Tharoor said COVID-19 pandemic has placed citizens in unimaginable distress who suffered a lot of pain due to loss of lives between March and May last year.
In this context, he said, the presentation of the budget cannot merely be seen as a purely routine economic exercise or state forward accounting, adding that the budget is an instrument through which the government presents a political vision to manage the economy, heal the country and set it on the path to recovery.
“The budget has given a significant slashing in MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme, more tokenism in credit support for MSME sector, no changes in personal income tax regime and no relief in terms of addressing rising inflation as well as nil targeted efforts for job creation,” he said.
The Budget has proposed creation of “inadequate” 60 lakh jobs in five years, which is “a far cry from the 2 crore jobs the government had promised in the equally illusory “acche din” (good days), Tharoor said.
He added that there are reductions in budgets for social welfare schemes and significant cuts in schemes for crop insurance, MSP (minimum support price) and fertliser, which has left many farmer groups to term this Budget as a “revenge budget”.
The Congress leader also claimed a huge dip in the incomes of lakhs of people in the last five years.
While the wealth of richest 100 Indians soared by Rs 57 lakh crore, 4.7 crore Indians slipped into extreme poverty, he said, adding that the government has not recognised the problems which they have caused and the widespread anguish they have inflicted on “aam aadmi” (common man).
People, he said, were expecting that the government will acknowledge the problem that the nation is facing, “acknowledge the fact that the nation is facing unprecedented levels of unemployment which has left countless citizens, specially our youth and dynamic working group population, with little prospects of brighter tomorrow”.
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Source: The Print