Budget favours big business: Tripura chief minister

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Agartala, March 1 (IANS) The Union Budget for 2016-17 is anti-poor, favours big business and is generally hollow, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here on Tuesday.

He said that the budget — presented on Monday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley — would safeguard the interests of big foreign and domestic companies and investors.

“The budget is anti poor, corporate-biased and hollow. Without providing adequate funds, Jaitley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are talking about socio-economic development of farmers, rural populace and villages,” Sarkar told IANS.

He said Jaitley made a “false claim” by describing the Rs.38,500 crore he provided for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act as the highest ever allocation.

“This is a false claim. Highest ever allocation was made in 2010-11.”

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No major plans have been announced for the northeastern region which badly needs industry and infrastructure, the chief minister said.

“The budget should have proposed increase in direct taxes and reduction of indirect taxes as much as possible,” said Sarkar, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is gradually weakening the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), even though the Supreme Court had made a number of rulings that favour universalisation of the scheme, Sarkar said.

“No adequate funds have been allocated for the people belonging to the Scheduled Castes, tribals and minorities. The NDA government’s third central budget is covered in showy styles and is misleading,” the chief minister added.

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