Union budget hopeless, directionless: Trinamool

Kolkata, Feb 29 (IANS) The Trinamool Congress on Monday dubbed the 2016-17 Union Budget as “hopeless” and “stereotype”, and questioned the Narendra Modi government’s transparency over FDI.

The West Bengal’s ruling party also said there was nothing for the state in the budget.

“Looking at the budget, it appears to be directionless, lacks vision, meandering…and definitely not people-centric or pro-poor. As regards West Bengal, we haven’t found anything in the budget,” said state Finance Minister Amit Mitra.

In a statement on its official website, the Mamata Banerjee-led party said the budget presented by union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is “neither constructive, nor creative, but stereotype(d) and routine”.

“We are left with no option but to call it a hopeless budget.

“No hope for the industry, no hope for the farmers, no hope for the poor, no hope for the middle class, and no hope even for the Sensex,” the party said.

The Trinamool also hit out at the Modi government over the issue of FDI and accused it of burdening the states on social sector schemes.

“Why has the finance minister (Jaitley) not mentioned the details of the changes in the FDI policy in his budget speech? It is shrouded in an annexure and opens up 100 percent FDI in many sectors. Why can’t the government be transparent,” it asked.

“Almost 40 social sector schemes have been stopped and states have been burdened for funding new schemes. Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sevak Yojana, the centre now will fund only 60 percent as against the earlier 100 percent, thereby burdening the states.

“In Bengal where Rs.3,000 crore was spent, the state would now have a burden of Rs.1,200 crore. Is this cooperative federalism?” asked the party.

“Lots of good prose in the budget, but where are the jobs? Where are the solutions? How will industry benefit? How will agriculture benefit? There are millions of hungry, young, unemployed youth yearning for jobs. Job creation has not been outlined.”

The party also said there were no major tax reforms to benefit the middle class. “Lots of big words, no real big solutions,” said the Trinamool, which had criticised the railway budget as a “big zero”.

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