Mentions that went missing from FM’s 14000-word budget speech

Poverty, unemployment, inflation, and purchasing power are some of the missing words that netizens are talking about; fundamental questions left unanswered, says opposition

Sitharaman begins the Budget speech.
Sitharaman begins the Budget speech.

Aditya Anand

From the opposition to the netizens, everyone is talking about the words that were ‘missing’ from Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget speech which lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes long on February 1, 2023. Some of these words that have been pointed out include poor, labour, unemployment, inflation, poverty, unemployment, inflation, purchasing power, wage(s), worker(s), and inequality among others.   

Shashi Tharoor, senior Congress MP, and a former Union minister noted that the budget did not address "poor, labour, unemployment, inflation, and MNREGA." He said, “Some essential problems remained unresolved.” Rajiv Ranjan, a member of the Janata Dal United (JDU), concurred with Tharoor that the budget failed to mention 'unemployment and inflation.' "There is nothing in the 2023 budget. It is similar to the proverb "Sapno Ka Saudagar" in that nothing comes true when one awakens from a dream. In addition, nothing was said regarding controlling inflation and unemployment,” Ranjan stated.

Former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram termed the Union Budget as having “betrayed” the hopes of a vast majority of Indians as it showed how far removed the government is from the people and their concerns about life, livelihood, and the growing inequality between the rich and the poor.

At a press conference at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi, Chidambaram termed the budget as “callous” and said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has not mentioned the words unemployment, poverty, inequality, or equity anywhere in her budget speech.

“Let me begin by pointing out, with regret, that the FM has not mentioned the words unemployment, poverty, inequality, or equity anywhere in her speech. Mercifully, she mentioned the word poor twice in her speech. I am sure the people of India will take note of who is in the concerns of the government and who is not,” Chidambaram said.

Netizens too were not to be left behind. One Twitter handle started a game on the social media site. “Let's play a game today: Look for missing words in the Finance Minister's 14,000-words Budget Speech. Here is a starter: “poverty”, “unemployment”, “inflation”, “purchasing power”, “wage(s)”, “labour”, “worker(s)”, “inequality”,” Twitter handle Road Scholarz wrote.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in one of her reactions to the media said, “Budget 2023 gives a big leg-up to capital investment, it also attends to MSMEs as they are the engine of growth, it sustains capital investment and also gives a push to the private sector while also giving tax reliefs to individuals and the middle class."

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