In stormy times, opposition slams budget

March 16th, 2012 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Left and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ganged up Thursday to blast the Union Budget and warring ally Trinamool Congress dismissed it as “tolerable”.

Moments after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee ended his speech in parliament, the BJP said the budget proposals would only fuel inflation.

“This budget will only enhance inflation because of rise in customs, excise duty and widening of service tax net,” BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha (BJP) said the ninth budget of the Congress-led UPA government missed the big picture and failed to address challenges like inflation and high economic growth,

“This budget is not for aam aadmi,” Sinha pronounced.

The Left parties were more harsh. They called the budget “clerical” and “ineffective”.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said: “We had expected relief for common man but the hike in the indirect taxes will burden the poor.”

The budget raised both service tax and excise duties from 10 to 12 percent.

CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta told IANS: “It is an absolute clerical and ineffective budget. It could have been prepared by the clerical staff of the finance ministry.”

“Tolerable,” was Trinamool MP Derek O’ Brien terse one-word reaction.

The party, a key ally of the Congress, has asked for a rollback of the passenger fare hike in the rail budget announced Wednesday, ironically by one of its colleagues, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

BSP’s Lok Sabha member Vijay Bahadur Singh told IANS: “It was a disappointing budget… It is below mediocre.”

Singh accused the government of preparing the budget after being shaken up by the rout in recently concluded state elections.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said the budget revealed “the continued policy paralysis gripping the central government”.

“It does not provide any tangible solutions to the problems crippling the Indian economy. The economy is at crossroads facing insurmountable problems of growth slowdown, dwindling investment, high inflation, fiscal stress, and the weakening Indian rupee.”

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