New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) The Opposition on Tuesday slammed the Union Budget, calling it a “Pegasus spin budget” and a “zero-sum budget” that has nothing for the salaried class and the poor, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders hailed it as “people-friendly” with a focus on a building a self-reliant India.
Shortly after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented a bigger Rs 39.45 lakh crore Budget 2022-23 in Lok Sabha, the opposition parties reacted sharply against the government’s economic blueprint while BJP leaders, including Union ministers, welcomed the document as “visionary”.
Several Congress leaders, including former party president Rahul Gandhi, criticised Sitharaman for presenting a “Lollypop budget” and alleged that it has exposed the government’s “anti-farmer and anti-poor” face. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed it a “Pegasus spin budget” that provided nothing to the common people who have been “crushed” by unemployment and inflation.
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram dubbed the union budget as “the most capitalist” and said the country is turning into “very unequal” as nothing is offered to the poor and the farmers while sops have been provided to the big industrialists.
Addressing a press conference, he said the Parliament may vote for this Budget because the ruling party has a “brute majority” in the Lok Sabha, but the people will reject this capitalist Budget.
Calling the budget “people-friendly and progressive”, Modi said it has brought new confidence to usher development in the midst of one the most terrible calamities in 100 years, a reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his televised remarks on the Budget, Modi said it will create many new opportunities for the common people, besides strengthening the economy.
Hailing the Union Budget as ‘visionary’, top BJP leaders said it outlines the Narendra Modi government’s focus on building a self-reliant India and is growth-oriented.
BJP chief J P Nadda said the Budget realises the concept of social justice, equality, respect and equal opportunity, he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Union minister Amit Shah said this “visionary” Budget will prove to be a budget to change the scale of India’s economy.
The budget will be helpful in making India the world’s leading economy under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi by exploiting the opportunities that have arisen in the global economic world after the COVID-19 pandemic, Shah said in a series of tweets in Hindi with the hashtag ‘#AatmanirbharBharatKaBudget’.
Union Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh termed the budget “growth-oriented” and said it outlines the government’s focus on Atmanirbharta (self-reliant India) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for development and pro-people reforms.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari praised the Budget for giving impetus to infrastructure development, and said, “It is a budget to promote modern infrastructure in the country, which will lay the foundation for a new India and improve the lives of 130 crore Indians.” “M0di G0vernment’s Zer0 Sum Budget! Nothing for – Salaried class, Middle class, the poor and deprived, Youth, Farmers and MSMEs,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
In an Instagram post, he said there is despair all around our country, our youth have no future and once again the Modi government’s budget completely ignores this painful reality.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the Union Budget, saying it was nothing but an “attack on subsidies” and old “jumlas (rhetoric)”.
The Congress on its official Twitter handle said,”the salaried and middle classes waited in anticipation for a budget to help them through their troubles, but the Lollipop Budget has proved once again that time spent waiting for ‘achhe din’ to come under BJP rule is nothing but time wasted.” West Bengal CM and TMC chief Banerjee said the Centre was lost in “big words” signifying nothing.
“Budget has zero for common people, who are getting crushed by unemployment and inflation. Government is lost in big words signifying nothing – a Pegasus spin budget (sic),” she tweeted.
The Opposition is preparing to unitedly take on the government in Parliament on the Pegasus snooping row after the New York Times claimed that India purchased the snooping spyware as part of a defence deal with Israel in 2017.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal dubbed the Union Budget as “disappointing” and said it has nothing for the common people.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned the government on the purpose of the Budget and asked why the wealthy have not been taxed further.
“Budget for whom? The richest 10% Indians own 75% of the country’s wealth. The bottom 60% own less than 5%. Why are those who amassed super-profits during the pandemic, while joblessness, poverty & hunger have grown, not being taxed more?” Yechury asked in a tweet.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said the Budget has been brought to “woo the public with new promises” and alleged that the Centre has forgotten to implement its old announcements.
The Budget proposed a massive 35 per cent jump in capital expenditure to Rs 7.5 lakh crore, coupled with rationalisation of customs duty, an extension of time for setting up new manufacturing companies and plans for starting a digital currency and tax crypto assets.
Welcoming the Budget, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said unprecedented provisions have been made for the overall development of the farm sector.
Tomar, in a statement, said the Budget allocation for the sector has been increased continuously and the Finance Minister has shown a vision in the Budget 2022.
However, Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav alleged that the government took its “revenge” on farmers for leading a successful movement against the now-repealed farm laws.
This budget has been marked by silence with regard to farmers as there was no mention of doubling the farmer’s income, no comments on schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), he said.
Calling Union Budget 2022-23 as “progressive” and “holistic”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said,”this is a budget which fulfills the vision of AatmaNirbhar Bharat.” PTI ASK SKU JTR SKC ASG PNT NAV ASK PYK PYK
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Source: The Print