The third full Budget of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley prompted sharp responses from political parties as it came on the heels of Centre’s demonetisation drive that created a huge cash crunch in the country causing massive problems to public.
While Union ministers and other Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders hailed the Budget as "inspiring" and "transformational", opposition parties denounced it for lacking a clear vision and with nothing in it for farmers, youths and jobs.
Here is how politicians across the spectrum reacted to Union Budget 2017-18:
Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal
“A controversial Budget 2017 which is clueless, useless, baseless, missionless and actionless. Heartless. No roadmap for the country or the future from a government that has lost all its credibility. Tax payers still have restrictions on withdrawals. Remove all restrictions immediately. And where are the figures for demonetisation? Misleading. Full of jugglery of numbers and hollow words which mean nothing.”
Rahul Gandhi, vice-president, Congress
"We were expecting fireworks, instead it was a damp squib. It is just 'sher-o-shayari' in the budget. There is nothing for farmers and youth and nothing for job creation. There is no clear vision, no idea."
Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader in Lok Sabha
"They have promised all these things keeping polls in five states in mind. They have not said anything for farmers, youth, women. They have accepted that GDP growth has gone down."
Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, Bihar
"The budget has disappointed the people. There is nothing that could speed up growth and development in the country. It is not going to help the common people, farmers and the youths. Bihar got nothing new in the Budget. Why has Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech in parliament not given any information about how much black money returned following demonetisation and the benefits of demonetisation.”
O Panneerselvam, Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu
"This Budget does a difficult balancing task. But the people of the State of Tamil Nadu had still higher expectations. I commend the Union Finance Minister on the difficult balancing task that he has done and his focus on the broad themes of structural reforms. The taxation measures on the personal income tax side, however, fall short of the expectations of the salaried middle classes."
Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister, Karnataka
"There are lots of statements in the budget, but there is no clear cut policy or allocation of funds that I can see in the budget...there are no programmes in this budget that will complement development and job creation. told reporters here. He said "This is an incremental budget...it is not growth oriented and there is nothing to favour generation of jobs."
Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh
The fourth budget of the BJP government has come but the party has still not succeeded in bringing 'achhe din'.
Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary, CPI(M)
"It an example of Finance Minister joining the Prime Minister and the BJP President to create 'jumlas' (phrases used as rhetoric). The budget is a classic example of that. It won't boost employment or generate demand. The idea of infrastructure development is a farce because the data given by the FM is not related to reality, does not match to what he said in his speech."
Supriya Sule, MP, NCP
“The budget is giving more thrust on employment guarantee scheme of MGNREGA which the BJP had allegedly opposed for years. It is a government of U-turn."
Manish Tewari, Congress
"The budget is high on rhetoric and short on delivery. It does not lay out a roadmap to return India to a high growth trajectory. There is a fundamental contradiction between enhanced public expenditure and the fiscal deficit cap."
D Raja, national secretary, CPI
"The way they claim about giving thrust on rural development, it is rhetoric, done in view of polls in five states. What are the efforts for job creation? On the issue of tax, how they are going to tighten noose around those evading tax, they have not explained."
Sharad Yadav, MP, JD(U)
"It is completely a political budget and direction-less. Farmers have been reeling under lot of financial problems but no relief has been given to them. Their loans should have been waived off.”
Varaprasad Rao Velagapalli, Leader of YSR Congress in Lok Sabha
"There is no special status to Andhra Pradesh, so no justice has been done to us. The BJP promised a railway zone to Vizag. They did not consider a single proposal for employment. They have not considered the poor people."
Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi
“My initial response is Delhi has been deprived of its due from central share in this year's budget too. Delhi's share in central taxes remains stagnant for 17th year at Rs 325 crore. Detailed govt response follows.”
Lalu Prasad Yadav, National President, RJD
"Why has the central government failed to inform how much employment it provided to youths last year as Modi had promised to bring in two crore jobs each year? What about special focus to help farmers, who have been committing suicide? The Budget is anti-poor, anti-farmer and anti-youth.”
Uddhav Thackeray, Shiv Sena
“The troubles that people had to face due to demonetisation can never be compensated. The government might say that deposits have increased manifold but the truth remains that the big money defaulters have been kept aside while common man was pick-pocketed. When last year's announcements remain unfulfilled, what is the meaning of this Budget? When you do not fulfil the
promises you make, what is the need to present the Budget every year?”
Arvind Sawant, MP, Shiv Sena
While the Budget has given relief to salary earners, it has completely forgotten farmers, youth, senior citizens and women with no substantial provisions for them.”
Raghubar Das, Chief Minister, Jharkhand
“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the best budget, focusing on villages, the poor, farmers, youth, women and social security. The Union budget is transparent, inspirational and a good example of fiscal management.”
Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra
“Pathbreaking budget! It has the same disruptive effect as demonetisation had. Country will leapfrog to next level. Thank You Hon Narendra Modi ji and Arun Jaitley ji ! This is indeed a Budget for Better India. Positive effect of demonetisation, the increase in capital expenditure by 25% will generate more jobs. Farmers, poor and vulnerable and the youth are the most benefited ones. It is an inclusive and participative budget.”
Ananth Kumar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister
"On one side the budget focuses on development in rural areas and farmers. At the same time, measures have also been announced to make small businesses to become competitive in the global market. Transparency, development, nation building are keystones of this historic budget. It again shows our government's commitment to eliminate corruption and black money from the system." Kumar said.
Prakash Javadekar, Union HRD Minister
"FM has ensured many concessions to honest tax payers. Now it's only five per cent tax, it is the lowest bracket we have ever imagined. And so (those earning) up to Rs five lakh, all should come and declare their income that is the intent of this revolutionary step. Demonetisation has resulted in bringing all the money into various accounts. Therefore, we can all track, issue notices. So things are on the move. 35 per cent advance tax increase is the success of demonetisation."
Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Textiles
"The push given to agriculture and allied sector by enhanced allocation is also an indication that with the strengthening of the rural economy we will see prosperous families and homes across the nation. Additionally, the push given to the SC plan and the enhancement of allocation of SC plan is an indicative that the government is ensuring the strengthening of opportunities for those who are under privileged."
M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Urban Development
"It's a fine exercise taken up by the Finance Minister. It's very inspiring, bold steps has been announced. Particularly the political funding has been made transparent. People will be happy. Some political parties will become poor. That is why our opponents are saying the budget is anti-poor. The Congress and other leaders said this budget is anti-poor. It means that these parties which were being run on black money, they will become extremely poor."
Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs
"It will transform rural India and urban as well in terms enhancing the capacity of building infrastructure. It is a great relief to the common masses and it will transform the economy of the nation. At the same time, the reform in taxation is great. From the point of view of electoral reforms, this budget has shown a clear way. Political parties have to transform itself. In democracy, political parties are the essence of the whole system. The transparency in which the political parties have to manage their funding system, has been given a great lift in this budget."
Yogendra Yadav, National President, Swaraj India
Agriculture secret announcements are deeply disappointing. Like last year farmers have got nice words but nothing else. Reducing reporting exemption from 20k to 2k person wont achieve anything, as there is no limit on how much total amount a party can receive.