The reactions to the Budget from regional and national parties was mixed on Monday. The BJD welcomed the focus on rural economy, while the Trinamool Congress called it “routine”, and the CPM slammed it for being “regressive”. The JD(U) called it “hollow and directionless”.
The RJD’s Lalu Prasad had a special comment to make — he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “dull student” who had been rusticated for “lying and cheating in the examination for lying to, and cheating the people by offering nothing for any section of society in the Budget, which he had promised before the parliamentary polls in 2014”. Modi had called the Budget his examination in his radio address a day earlier.
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The Trinamool Congress said the Budget was a lot of “big words” and no real solutions. “This Budget is not constructive, nor is it creative. It is stereotype and routine. We are left with no option but to call it a hopeless budget: no hope for industry, no hope for the farmers, no hope for the poor, no hope for the middle class, no hope even for the Sensex. The effective 2016 Budget outlay is actually lower for NREGA than during 2009-10. Why has the FM not mentioned the details of the changes in the FDI policy in his Budget Speech?” TMC national spokesperson Derek O’Brien said.
The CPM said the Budget lacked “vision” and sought to appease international finance capital more than meeting domestic requirements. Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury called it “regressive” and “contractionary”, which would not lead to expansion of the economy.
“This would aggravate inequality, unemployment and further contract exports. It would lead to increasing distress in agriculture and the countryside, the collapse of industrial production, the slowdown in construction activities and many services,” he said.
Total taxes had been reduced by Rs 1,060 crore, while total indirect taxes had been increased by Rs 20,600 crore, Yechury said. “So the tax revenue will come from extra indirect taxes… the burdens fall on the consumer… The consumer’s disposable income will further contract… There will be contraction of domestic demand.”
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said the Budget had brought no relief to the common man suffering due to price-rise. While the salaried class had been disappointed due to the absence of any relief in income-tax, the increase in service tax would add to the burden of the common man.
His party colleague K C Tyagi said, “There is no roadmap for irrigation or farm insurance either.”
The BJD, however, said the Budget reflected a welcome course-correction. “There is a clear shift from industry, employment, infrastructure to the rural sector, agriculture, farmers’ welfare. This may enable the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises to consolidate themselves and generate jobs,” BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said.