New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party Saturday termed the budget as a “missed opportunity” for failing to meet the expectations of common man, but welcomed government's move to bring legislation on black money.
The party also raised concerns on major cuts in social expenditure.
Welcoming the earmarking of Rs 1,000 crore as Nirbhaya fund, AAP slammed the government's decision to promote PPPs and take a majority of risks, saying this raises suspicion that it could be a ploy to “benefit crony capitalism”.
“While we welcome steps announced to address the issue of black money stashed abroad, the government failed to show commitment to the cause by not putting a lid on Participatory Notes, through which tons of black money is being masked, round tripped and pushed into the Indian stock markets.
“A new law on the issue, promised the by Finance Minister in the budget today is still a welcome step. It will be interesting to see how soon government brings this law, passes it in Parliament, and how effectively this law is implemented,” the party said in a statement.
It added that although the Finance Minister has gone out of way to “appease” the corporate sector, the fundamental nature of taxation is still regressive.
“Finance Minister's decision to put the GST on the back burner is disappointing. Even more disappointing is the fact that the Finance Minister trashed the Direct Tax Code, killing hopes of structural tax reforms and simplifying tax regime.
“There were minor exemptions for the middle class but no rationalization or simplification of the tax regime though the FM has gone out of his way to appease the corporate sector with several major cuts and exemptions,” the party added.
The party said expenditure on Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan has gone down from Rs 28,000 crore to Rs 22,000 crore, the Integrated Child Development Scheme from Rs 16,000 cr to Rs 8,000 cr and the Mid-Day Meal scheme from Rs 13,000 cr to 9,000 cr.
“There has also been a significant decrease in the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan allocation from Rs 43,208 crore to Rs 30,000 crore while that in the Tribal Sub Plan has gone down from Rs 26,714 crore to Rs 19,000 crore,” the statement added.