Updated: February 2, 2020 10:36:01 am
The Opposition on Saturday launched a scathing attack on the government over the Union budget. While the Trinamool Congress said the budget will take India from “economic crisis to economic disaster” and “from the ICU to the ventilator”, the Left parties said the budget revealed that the government is clueless about how to address the crisis gripping the country’s economy. Both the TMC and the Left said the budget was bent on privatisation.
“Today’s budget takes this country from economic crisis to economic disaster; from the ICU to the ventilator. It completely failed to lift the gloom and doom. No mention of employment generation, no mention of relief for the poor, no mention of unorganised sector… We have a cess on health. It is anti-people because it is bent on privatisation, selling the family jewels. Railways, BSNL, Air India and now LIC and worse still, LIC sale will be used to compensate the states on GST,” TMC leader Derek O’Brien said.
O’Brien said the budget was misleading on many counts. “The first one is on doubling farmer income. Where are we going? At current rates we will reach the doubling by 2030. Look at Bengal we have already tripled farmers’ income in seven years…more fudging if you read the fine print on the I-T cuts, 70 of 100 exemptions lifted such as LIC PPF etc. This kills the small saving opportunity of the middle class,” he said.
Asserting that the budget speech was “full of rhetoric”, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “This budget is a complete failure to address the current economic slowdown, it doesn’t have a roadmap of how the economy can be turned around…which means, more importantly, greater and greater economic attacks on the livelihood of the people are in the offing. The only source of revenue that the government seems to be banking on is privatisation.”
The CPM said in a statement that the budget numbers reveal that the “Modi Government is only interested in providing the corporate sector and the wealthy relief rather than tackling the increasingly grim employment and livelihood situations of the working people — workers, farmers and those forced into self-employment — which is the root cause of the slowdown.”
CPI general secretary D Raja said the budget is a “shameless declaration” that government is abdicating all its responsibilities and working towards large-scale participation of domestic private sector and foreign investors.
Calling the budget disappointing, SP president Akhilesh Yadav said,” This budget provides no relief to the salaried class, businessmen, industry, the farmers, the workers and the poor. Youth are further disappointed and the homemakers hit by price rise are in despair now.”
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