‘Future tense’ budget: Congress-ruled states attack Modi govt over interim budget

The CMs of Congress-ruled states and Karnataka have questioned the government for not giving an accurate picture of the government’s achievements till date and making new pledges


NH Web Desk

The state governments of Congress-ruled states have come down heavily on the Centre over the promises made in the interim budget, the last budget of the Narendra Modi government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot described the budget as nothing but an “election document,” which has only been proven to be a “jugglery of words.”

“The FM gave a vision of 10 years when government’s tenure is about to end!” he said.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that the budget had nothing for the farmers and youth, and put more burden on the common man.

The Punjab CM termed the Rs 6,000 a year announced for marginal farmers as mere peanuts. “With just Rs 500 a month for the distressed farmers, the Modi government had made it obvious that they did not recognise the gravity of the problem,” said Amarinder Singh, dubbing the exercise as a mockery of the interests of the farming community.

“They had promised Rs 15 lakhs in accounts of all but have ended up giving only Rs 6,000 a year to farmers up to 2 hectares of land, and that too at the end of their tenure, clearly showing their lack of intent to do anything for the farmers’ welfare,” the Chief Minister said.

The entire budget, said Singh, was in ‘future tense’, as it talked about a $5 trillion economy in five years and a $10 trillion-economy in the next eight years. Nowhere did it reflect the achievements of the BJP-led NDA government of the past five years, he added.

The government had also breached healthy norms of constitutional propriety by announcing concessions for the future with a clear eye on elections, even while it was expected to propose a mere vote on account, he said.

The Punjab CM said that the concessions given to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore should actually mean an incremental deficit of 0.5 per cent. “The government had shown additional deficit of only 0.1 per cent. This means at least Rs 80,000 crore worth of taxes will be imposed in the full budget, resulting in more burden on the common man in the coming days,” he added.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath wrote on Twitter that the budget was conceived of with the upcoming elections in mind. “The budget has put the final nail in the coffin of achche din,” said Nath.

Echoing Nath’s sentiments, Bhupesh Baghel, the chief minister of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, questioned the government over the status of its promises made at the time of 2014, noting that the government had proposed the building of one lakh digital villages. “How many smart cities did they build over the last five years,” he asked.

The recently-elected CM also cited the recently leaked National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report (which claims that unemployment under the sitting government is at a 45-year high) as well as the Swaminathan Commission report.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy also questioned the government over the sops it has offered to farmers. “This budget is completely driven by politics of BJP. They claimed that Karnataka loan waiver was a lollipop, but today what has BJP offered farmers?” he was quoted as saying in local media.

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