Congress on Union Budget 2023: Taking a dig at the union budget, senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram claimed that the Union Budget has "betrayed" the hopes of a vast majority of Indians. According to him, the budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman shows how far removed the government is from the people and their concerns about life, livelihood and the growing inequality between the rich and the poor.
"Let me begin by pointing out, with regret, that the FM has not mentioned the words unemployment, poverty, inequality or equity anywhere in her speech. Mercifully, she mentioned the word poor twice in her speech. I am sure the people of India will take note of who is in the concerns of the government and who is not," Chidambaram said.
"No indirect taxes have been reduced. There is no cut in the cruel and irrational GST rates. There is no reduction in the prices of petrol, diesel, cement, fertilizers etc. There is no cut in the numerous surcharges and cesses which are, anyway, not shared with the state governments," Chidambaram pointed.
Kharge calls it misleading and election centric
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday termed the budget both "misleading" and "election centric" and accused Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam of skipping main questions on inflation and unemployment.
Sitharaman, who presented the union budget for the financial year 2023-24, is considered the most crucial amid the fact that the country is scheduled to hold the General elections next year. Also, at least five states including Karnataka, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland, are scheduled to hold elections in the coming months.
Sitharaman easily evades pressing questions
Lambasting at the budget, Kharge said that the finance minister has easily circumvented some of the pressing issues of the country. According to him, she forgot to address the issue of unemployment, inflation and farmers'.
Recalling the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, Kharge said that the budget did not even mention how it would fulfil the aspirations of 16 crore unemployed youths. Notably, he was pointing fingers at the promise made by PM Modi wherein he assured to provide two crore employment to youths every year.
No plans for MGNREGA
The Congress also underscored that the latest budget has also missed its further plans on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)-- an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the 'right to work'. He noted that the scheme is very crucial as it guarantees employment in far-flung areas of the country.
"Budget was presented by Modi govt keeping in view the upcoming Assembly polls in three-four states. There's nothing in the budget for poor people and to control inflation," he said while speaking to the news agency ANI on Wednesday. "No steps for jobs, to fill govt vacancies and MNREGA," added Kharge.
Also Read: Union Budget 2023: 'We are moving along to become a $5 trillion economy'- Sitharaman
Watch full speech of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman here