Why large outlays in poll-bound states? asks Cong

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/2/2021 12:44:52 AM

NEW DELHI, Feb 1: The Congress on Monday criticised Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for doling out large capital outlays for the poll-bound states in the Union Budget presented to Parliament, and wondered if it was a "coincidence."
Former president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: "Forget putting cash in the hands of people (as Congress pleading for months,) Modi govt plans to handover India's assets to his crony capitalist friends."
Its senior leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram blasted Sitharaman, saying that she has "deceived people, especially poor, working class migrants and farmers. He slammed here for dismissing in once sentence Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) who badly needed the government support for revival and who can generate maximum employment.
Chidambaram said the budget is a big letdown as he does not understand what are the priorities of the government as it does not want to help revive the economy. He said the government has failed on nine out of ten points listed by the Congress on the eve of the budget.
He said: "The FM gave out a mind boggling figure of Rs 223,846 crore for Heath, a breathtaking "rise" from the BE of the current year of Rs 94,452 crore. As I had warned, it was a conjurer's trick. She added the one-time cost of vaccination ((Rs 35,000 crore) and the Finance Commission grants amounting to Rs 49,214 crore."
"She deceived those who were listening to her speech, especially the MPs, who had no clue that she had imposed cesses on a large number of products including petroleum and diesel: Rs 2.50 on petrol per litre and Rs 4.00 on diesel per litre is a cruel blow to the average citizen, including the farmers," Chidambaram said.
Congress general secretary and chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala, addressing a press conference with him on the union budget, said the finance minister appears determined to sell out all government properties be they airports, railways, godowns, ports, power transmission lines or BHEL.
He also pointed out an injustice done with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme that alone sustained the poor in the villages. He expressed concern that the FM has slashed the MGNREGA budget by 42% from Rs 1,66,000 crore to Rs 96,773 crore. He said this will be fatal to the rural India as it would hit the poor labourers, Scheduled Caste. Scheduled Tribe and backward members. On the FM promising gas cylinders to 1 crore more, he said 85% of those given the cylinders on loan are again shifted to the firewood.
"She says the Modi Government is committed to farmers' welfare, but is this commitment by cutting down budget on agriculture by 6% and market intervention scheme by 25%," Surjewala asked.

 

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