In stormy times, opposition, SP slam budget (Lead)

March 17th, 2012 - 12:22 am ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s Budget for 2012-13 was Friday roundly criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Left, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party, while the Congress hailed it as good and balanced.

Allies of the Congress in the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) reacted differently to the budget. While a DMK member hailed it as “growth oriented”, Trinamool Congress termed it “tolerable”.

Moments after 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.

Congress lauded Mukherjee for giving some concessions “despite the difficult external economic conditions”.

“It is a good budget,” Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi told reporters.

Party spokesperson Manish Tiwari said the budget has built upon the fundamentals of the Indian economy and has endeavoured to provide a thrust to those areas which can return India to a very high growth trajectory.

He said Mukherjee has kept in view both medium and long term objectives and the budget was balanced.

The Left parties were stinging in their criticism and 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. The railway budget was ironically presented by one of its party colleagues, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi.

Samajwadi Party MP Shailendra Kumar said the budget was disappointing.

“There is nothing in it for the unemployed. Middle class and the poor have been hit,” Kumar told IANS.

He said the only hope was that Congress will bring a good budget closer to general elections.

Answering queries, he said SP will speak against the budget in Parliament and also give its suggestions.

SP supports the government from outside and there is speculation about the Congress seeking to improve its ties with the party. Congress has been facing strain in its ties with Trinamool Congress.

DMK MP Tiruchi Siva termed the budget as “growth oriented.”

“The budget shows that agriculture continues to be a priority sector. Interest subsidy on farm loans has been extended. Allocation of National Rural Health Mission has been enhanced. Income tax exemption limit has been increased,” Siva told IANS.

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 the 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.”

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |