Budget 2024 more like election speech, says Pilot, Akhilesh calls it 'farewell budget'

The BJP government has created a shameful record by completing a decade of anti-people budgets: Akhilesh Yadav

Sachin Pilot speaking to media (video screengrab)
Sachin Pilot speaking to media (video screengrab)

NH Digital

Reacting to the Union government's interim budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, Rajasthan Congress leader and MLA Sachin Pilot labelled it as an "election speech" that did nothing to provide any relief to "the youth, farmers, or the middle-class", neither did it talk about issues such as price rise.

Speaking to the media after the budget speech, Pilot said, "It was all about the government praising itself, which BJP leaders do on every platform anyway. No significant step was taken to control inflation and provide employment."

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav termed the interim budget as a farewell budget of the BJP. "The BJP government has created a shameful record by completing a decade of anti-people budgets, which will never break because now the time has come for a positive government to be formed. This is the BJP's farewell budget," he wrote on X.

Earlier in the day, Sitharaman presented a Rs 47.66 lakh crore budget for 2024-25, marking an increase of 6.1 per cent from 2023-24, owing to a rise in expenditure and higher allocation for capital expenditure and social sector schemes.

The revenue receipts at Rs 30.03 lakh crore are expected to be higher than the Budget estimate, reflecting strong growth momentum and formalisation in the economy, Sitharaman said.

The revised estimate of the fiscal deficit is 5.8 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the nominal GDP growth for the next financial year has been pegged at 10.5 per cent against the 11 per cent estimated earlier.

Stressing that the impact of all-round development is discernible in all sectors, Sitharaman said, "There is macro-economic stability, including in the external sector. Investments are robust. The economy is doing well. People are living better and earning better, with even greater aspirations for the future," she said, adding that the average real income of people has increased 50 per cent.

"Inflation is moderate. People are being empowered, equipped and enabled to pursue their aspirations. There is effective and timely delivery of programmes and of large projects," she also said.

Goa Aam Admi Party chief Amit Palekar also said the Union budget was nothing more than an "election speech", saying the finance minister spoke about rising foreign investment but did not utter a word about the falling rupee vis-a-vis the US dollar.

"It was more like a popular speech. It is like an election speech. There is nothing concrete. There were no concrete figures," Palekar told reporters. "She should have come out with concrete proposals to lift the entire economy. It has also to be conducive for industrial development and employment generation. But that did not happen," he added.

In Madhya Pradesh, former CM and Congress leader Kamal Nath criticised the budget and said it has “exposed the anti-people face" of the Modi government.

“We were hopeful that the finance minister would inform us about the target of the prime minister to provide 2 crore jobs every year and accordingly whether the aim of giving 20 crore employment (in 10 years) has been achieved or not,” Nath asked.

The middle class was expecting relief concerning the tax slabs but nothing happened. He said the Modi government had promised to double farmers’ income by 2022, but not a single positive development has been mentioned in “their (farmers') favour”. Also, the budget has nothing for the youth, women, unemployed, farmers and jawans, he said. 

With PTI inputs

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