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Monday, March 01, 2021

Oppn slams Budget in Rajya Sabha: ‘For the rich, by the rich’

Participating in the debate on the Budget, Congress leader P Chidambaram attacked the government for presenting a “disappointing” Budget.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: February 12, 2021 2:38:28 am
P Chidambaram, Narendra Modi, Nirmala Sitharaman, union budget 2021, economy, rajya sabha, india gdp, indian express newsCongress MP P Chidambaram with TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray at Parliament. (PTI)

OPPOSITION PARTIES in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday termed the Union Budget for 2021-22 as one “for the rich and by the rich” that reflected a “painful story” of the country and bankruptcy of its economy.

The opposition parties, including the Congress, TMC, SP and Left parties, hit out at the government over the state of the economy and rising unemployment and alleged that the Narendra Modi dispensation was out to sell the country’s assets.

Participating in the debate on the Budget, Congress leader P Chidambaram attacked the government for presenting a “disappointing” Budget.

“The sub-text is, this is a Budget for the rich, of the rich and by the rich… There is nothing for the poor people of India, who continue to suffer…. This is a Budget for those one per cent who control 73 per cent of India’s wealth,” he said.

Rejecting the Budget, the former finance minister hit out at the government, accusing it of three years of “incompetent economic management”. He said the government is in denial about the slowdown in the economy and believed that the problem in the economy is cyclical and not structural. “Two years of slowdown before the coronavirus is a reality,” he said. “Mark my words, the growth projections will fall short by the end of 2021.”

TMC member Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said the Budget reflects the bankruptcy in the Indian economy. “The Budget has shown certain dreams that even the Economic Survey has not talked about,” he said.

Ray said the Budget have not have the government’s story or that of the Opposition or the common man. All it has is a “painful story”, he said. He said the Economic Survey pegged the country’s growth at 11 per cent for 2021-22 fiscal but the Budget document projected more than this at 14.4 per cent.

“On January 4, the World Bank global report estimated India’s GDP to plunge 9.6 per cent. However, a spokesperson for the government says such a report should not be relied upon. Till date, we don’t know about the revised estimate. How do we reject the World Bank Report and how do we trust your figures,” he asked. Ignoring these reports, the government is showing the dream of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” to everyone, he said. On labour laws, the TMC leader said six labour laws have been amended for the benefit of corporates and termed it as an “anti-labour step”.

CPI(M) member Elamaram Kareem said the Budget is disappointing, far away from the ground realities, and “cruelly insensitive” to the sufferings of the toiling mass. “This Budget looks like a sales advertisement. Everything is for sale here,” he alleged.
RJD’s Manoj Jha said earlier it used to be a Budget for general people but since the 1990s it has become “khaas (special)” Budget.

SP leader Vishambhar Prasad Nishad said he does not think that the government’s plan about doubling the income of farmers will succeed and pointed out that there is no provision for the farm-allied sectors in the Budget.

BJP member Arun Singh lauded Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for not imposing any additional taxes despite the adverse circumstances. He accused the former UPA regime of corruption and mismanagement. During the UPA regime, he said, one minister used to be part of 26-27 groups but decisions were taken by an “invisible power”.

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