New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today said that the union budget 2013-2014 is a clever attempt by the government to mislead public in an election year. "In his speech, the finance minister acknowledged key problems facing the Indian economy such as fiscal deficit and slowdown of growth. But the budget does not provide any remedies to these problems," said AAP member Manish Sisodia.
He said that the budget was a disappointment as spending on various welfare schemes have remained static or have been reduced as compared to the actual expenditure in the year before. "In 2013-14 expenditure on agriculture and allied activities, rural development, irrigation and flood control, welfare of scheduled tribes, has actually gone down compared to the actual expenditure of the previous year. A similar comparison of the expenditure on health and education shows a marginal increase that barely keeps pace with inflation," said Sisodia.
AAP member Yogendra Yadav said that the latest union budget was drafted under political compulsion. "On one hand, they say they have levied ten percent surcharge on people earning more than Rs 1 crore annually. On the other, government has given huge tax benefits to such people. This is nothing but misleading people."
Arun Kumar, economist in Jawaharlal Nehru University and AAP sympathiser, said, "The government has to make up its mind on whether it is concerned about the citizens of India or international rating agencies. From the latest budget, it appears that the government thinks only about the latter."
Kumar added that the FM’s claims about increasing outlays in key sectors is a clear case of statistical fudging. "The increase claimed by the FM is in reference to the drastically reduced expenditure. In most cases the rise in budget allocations is barely enough to cover inflation. In real terms there is no increase in spending for the aam aadami. The FM has also used the age old devise of distracting public attention with the help of some gimmicks that cost very little," he said.
Updated Date: Feb 28, 2013 18:10 PM