While Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the Union Budget 2016-17 presented by the Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday as pro-poor, the Opposition dubbed the Budget as “hopeless”, “stereotype” and 'a bunch of hollow promises." Following are some of the reactions:
Rahul Gandhi, Congress vice-president: Rahul Gandhi thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for accepting his recommendation on removing import duty on Braille paper to help the visually impaired, but in a series of tweets he said that the Union Budget lacked both vision and conviction.
“Modiji spent the first two years mocking the Congress Party’s focus on farmers, MNREGA, Rural dev & social spending. Now mere rhetoric, without vision or action, will fool neither farmers nor the poor of this country. Budget 2016 lacks both vision & conviction. A list of new promises without any account of the failure of tall promises made in last two budgets!
“I want to thank the FM though for accepting my recommendation on removing import duty on Braille paper to help the visually impaired!” Rahul tweeted.
Trinamool Congress: The ruling party in West Bengal dubbed the Budget as “hopeless” and “stereotype”, and questioned the Narendra Modi government’s transparency over foreign direct investment.
“This budget is neither constructive, nor creative. It is a stereotype and routine. We are left with no option but to call it a hopeless budget. No hope for the industry, no hope for the farmers, no hope for the poor, no hope for the middle class, and no hope even for the Sensex.”
“Lots of good prose in the budget, but where are the jobs? Where are the solutions? How will industry benefit? How will agriculture benefit? There are millions of hungry, young, unemployed youth yearning for jobs. Job creation has not been outlined,” TMC said.
Sitaram Yechury, CPI (M) General Secretary: Picking flaws in the Budget, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday said it lacked vision and was full of “hollow promises”. It also burdened commoners by way of “inflationary” indirect taxation, he said. “FM says Budget is about fulfilling ‘desires & dreams’ but it has no vision. The dead certainty from it is of a shrinking economy,” Yechury said in a series of tweets. The Rajya Sabha member observed that the schemes announced/supported by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the budget were the ones opposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before elections, adding increasing cess will hurt
“FM says Budget is about fulfilling ‘desires & dreams’ but it has no vision. The dead certainty from it is of a shrinking economy,” Yechury said in a series of tweets. The Rajya Sabha member observed that the schemes announced/supported by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the budget were the ones opposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before elections, adding increasing cess will hurt common man. “Increasing cess hurts the common man, with indirect tax collections proposed to be up by Rs 20,600
“Increasing cess hurts the common man, with indirect tax collections proposed to be up by Rs 20,600 crore. Direct tax proposals are down by Rs 1,060 crore. This means more burden on common people as indirect taxes are inflationary. So there will be no expansion in domestic demand,” he stated.
Nawab Malik, Nationalist Congress Party Spokesperson: The government has only reiterated that successive Budgets presented by the previous UPA governments, the party spokesperson said. "This Budget has, in every way, been a dampener to the dreams of common man. Lakhs of crore fundings have been made for corporates and builders. The dreams of middle-class people, who were expecting incentives have been shattered," Malik said.
He said the government has only continued with flagship programmes of the UPA government. "Names of schemes presented by the UPA government have been changed and the government has tried to make it seem like their own schemes. By naturally funding old schemes in new names, the government has only reiterated that successive Budgets presented by the UPA governments," Malik said.
Big step, says Jay Panda (Biju Janata Dal): Party leader Baijayant Panda termed the Union Budget as a "big step" from a macro-economic perspective for its large allocation to infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and steps to cut red tape to ensure ease of doing business.
Panda also lauded the finance minister for not resorting to a "populist" budget despite polls being around the corner in many states. "This is not a populist budget and that's not easy because the global scenario has been difficult. Fiscal deficit is important because that is the single most important factor due to which the country rating is determined. When Moody and other research and rating companies rate the country, they look at the fiscal deficit. And that impacts inflation, rupee exchange rate, so that I think takes a lot of courage."
"From macro-economic point of view, this is a big step. All the massive allotments made for rural infrastructure, irrigation and farm sector as well as national infrastructure, cutting of red tape are growth oriented. I think it's a good sign," Panda said.
With inputs from Agencies