Opposition calls budget anti-poor, pro-corporate

NEW DELHI :  Opposition today slammed the NDA government’s first full fledged budget saying it against the poor and the middle class and largely favours the corporates.
Participating in the discussion on general budget in the Lok Sabha, members of various parties like Congress, AIADMK, Trinamool Congress and BJD said the government had reduced allocation for social welfare and anti-poverty programmes while giving benefits to corporates and focusing on FDI.
To target the government, many members specifically raised issues like increase in service tax, no change in income tax slab and failure to pass on the benefit of reducing petroleum prices to consumers.
Some non-NDA and non-Congress members also alleged that the budget was just a re-packaging of UPA’s budget.
BJP, however, defended the budget saying it was pro-poor and accused opposition of criticising it just for the sake of it.
Initiating the debate, Veerappa Moily (Cong) said most of the initiatives announced in the budget were started during the time of the UPA.
The governemnt is lucky and reaping the fruits of low oil prices and the award of the 14th Finance Commission, which was set up by the previous regime, said the former minister for Corporate Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas.
He regretted that the government decided to postpone the fiscal consolidation programme by one year despite the benign fiscal environment, driven mainly by fall in crude oil prices in the intertnational market.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget has failed to provide roadmaps for either implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from April 1, 2016 or reduction of the corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent, he said.
Moily further said the budget did not talk about Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the NDA government has not done anything to deal with the problem of black money.
Moreover, he added, the concerns about the economic situation have been expressed by investment banker Morgan Stanley and renowned banker Deepak Parekh. (AGENCIES)


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