New Delhi, Feb 28: The Opposition and some parties supporting the government today slammed the general budget as “jugglery” of numbers and said it had forgotten the ‘aam admi', who was already burdened by price rise, and had nothing to offer to the farmers.
Expressing disappointment with the budget proposals, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said “it is unimaginative, dull and boring”.
“There is nothing for the women, youth and poor” in this budget and neither is anything there for boosting the agri sector or for controlling prices,” she said.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the budget is “verbose” and “extremely low on substance” and has a bit of “jugglery” to cut down on expenditure.
“Having pushed the economy in a distress situation, he comes out with a budget of helplessness. In the first nine years, UPA government pushed the economy in distress and then a helpless Finance Minister comes out with a budget which has very little elbow space,” he said.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav termed the budget as “anti-poor” and “anti-farmer” and vowed to oppose it in Parliament. “This budget is only for 10 per cent population of the country. What kind of budget is this which ignores 65 per cent people who are engaged in farming,” he said.
BSP leader Mayawati, whose party has extended support to the UPA, criticised the budget saying it was drafted to “confuse” the common man and there was nothing new in it. She said all the announcements seem lofty and “in the air”.
“There is nothing new in this budget and there nothing for farmers, employees and the middle class,” she said, adding that the policies of the central government are not in the interest of the common man and are “anti-people”.
BJP leader Mukhthar Abbas Naqvi said, “the nine-year-old non-performing government has come out with a box of promises. Its a disappointment and confusing budget.” BJD MP Kalikesh Singh Deo lamented that no growth-oriented reforms have been unveiled. “It's a thumbs down below average budget.
“No growth orientation reforms have taken place. Specially supply side constraints in agriculture where large amount of investment is required to get farmers access to market.”
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, “This is a lollypop election budget with minor additional investment and full of tokenism. Uproar is more but reality is different.”
Terming it as an “election oriented exercise”, CPI National Secretary D Raja said, “It has also not addressed the key question of revenue generation. It appears to be a technical jugglery and we will have to see what comes out of it in real terms.”
He said there is also nothing on the huge non-performing assets of banks or on black-money and there is no taxation of the super-rich and only a surcharge has been introduced.
Former Finance Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said Chidambaram has juggled with numbers and direct and indirect tax proposals put forth to add about Rs 18,000 crore revenue will further fuel price rise.
“It is a jugglery of numbers that Finance Minister P Chidambaram has done in his budget to show a reduced fiscal deficit for this year and the next year.... The additional tax proposals will add to the rising prices and will further hit the common man,” said Sinha.
Taking a dig, he said Chidambaram has criticised his predecessor Pranab Mukherjee, who is now the President, and said “he deserves a better treatment.”
BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said, “It is not a Finance Minister's budget. It's an accountant's budget.”
JD-U leader Sharad Yadav said there is no relief to farmers, middle class and workers. “This budget has failed to address all the ills afflicting the country. No tax has been imposed on malls and hotels which consume diesel. Had this been done, famers would have got subsidy.” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, however, said that the prudent, productive and progressive budget would boost growth.
“The three P's of FM's budget - prudent , productive & progressive. It would boost growth and augment equity- UPA's guiding philosophy,” the I&B minister tweeted.