Leaders of several opposition parties criticised the Budget and said it will lead to inflation and aggravate sufferings of the poor and the deprived. Calling it “completely visionless”, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “…not only have they imposed cess but also special additional excise duty on petrol and diesel… price hike will hit from transport to market to kitchens. Commoners are suffering…”
Her party’s Rajya Sabha leader Derek O’Brien said, “Far from a dream, it’s a nightmare for common people…. FDI in media, aviation and more benefits to foreign insurance intermediaries means government has introduced concept of ‘Sell India’. Jobs and job creation not addressed in policy terms.”
DMK president M K Stalin said the Budget was “sweet” for corporates and “bitter” for the poor, according to PTI. He opposed levy of customs duty on newsprint and called it a “clever” attempt at “muzzling” the freedom of expression.
The Left parties called the Budget the BJP’s “payback gift” to “corporate India and foreign financial interests” after the Lok Sabha polls, as it is silent on the problems of economic slowdown, agrarian distress, industrial stagnation and joblessness.
“The Budget and the (FM’s) speech were full of several promises and commitments that would help big corporate capital and the wealthy to strengthen their grip on the Indian economy and foster greater integration of the Indian economy with international financial markets,” the CPI(M) Politburo stated.
Arguing that the Budget fails to address “real issues of our economy and people,” the CPI said, “Slowdown in growth, rising unemployment, rising NPA of banks, rural distress, increasing social and regional imbalances are some of the major issues before us. Mere rhetoric or slogans in speech will not help.”
BSP chief Mayawati maintained that the emphasis on private sector will hurt social justice. She tweeted: “This Budget will benefit the private sector, some big capitalists and businessmen. This will further complicate the reservation road for Dalits and backwards and also increase inflation, poverty, unemployment, farmers and rural distress…”
In a statement, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “There is nothing in it for the poor, the youth, the working class and women. The middle class will be hit severely by the Budget because it will give from one hand and take from the other.”