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Friday, August 19, 2022

Opposition slams Union Budget as ‘uninspiring’, says no relief for poor, middle-class

While Congress MP Manish Tewari termed the Budget “unrealistic and unimplementable”, CPM's Sitaram Yechury asked why the super-rich weren’t being taxed more. TMC leader Derek O’Brien said it was a "PM (Does Not) Care Budget".

A man watches the Finance Minister's speech on Union Budget 2022 on TV at a small salon on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

The Opposition Congress on Tuesday termed the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman “insipid” and “uninspiring” with no ideas or proposals to boost consumption and provide relief to the poor, salaried class, middle class or the farmers.

In its initial comments, the party said the salaried class and the middle class – reeling under the impact of the pandemic, pay cuts and “back breaking” inflation – were hoping for relief. “The Finance Minister and the Prime Minister have again deeply disappointed them in direct tax measures. This is a betrayal of India’s salaried class and the middle class,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.

Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari called the budget “insipid, unimaginative, uninspiring, unrealistic and unimplementable.”

Surjewala said the truth of the Budget is that “it was a nothing budget.”

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“The pockets of the poor, salaried class, middle class, farmers had been empty, but there is nothing for them in the budget. The hopes of the youth are broken but there is nothing for them either. And there is nothing to boost consumption and promote small businesses,” he said.

On the announcement that the RBI will roll out a digital currency based on blockchain technology, Surjewala asked “Is crypto currency now legal, without bringing the crypto currency Bill, as you tax the crypto currency? What about its regulator… regulation of crypto exchanges and investor protection?”

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury asked who will benefit from the Budget. “The richest 10% Indians own 75% of the country’s wealth. Bottom 60% own less than 5%. Why are those who amassed super profits during the pandemic, while joblessness, poverty and hunger have grown, not being taxed more?” he sought to know.

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“Diamonds are this government’s best friend. For the rest— farmers, middle class, daily earners, unemployed— this is a PM (Does Not) Care Budget,” said Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien.

First published on: 01-02-2022 at 01:42:47 pm
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