CPI(M) says Chidambaram’s speech aimed at forthcoming elections
The Opposition dubbed Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s interim budget as one that had an eye on the general election scheduled for April/May.
The Bharatiya Janata Party described the vote-on-account as a “farewell” budget and said the numbers have been juggled by the UPA government to show a fiscal deficit of 4.6 per cent of the GDP for the year 2013-14.
The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi tweeted his disapproval of the vote-on-account, saying “the only solace one gets from the vote-on-account is that this was the UPA’s final act of misery after a decade of decay & policy paralysis.”
Party president Rajnath Singh said Mr. Chidambaram made a “failed attempt to gloss over the failures of the UPA government” and questioned the numbers put forth. “Revenue deficit of 3.3 per cent clearly indicates that the government has not made any effort to contain its fiscal profligacy. The UPA government has been able to match its fiscal targets only by drastically cutting its planned expenditure. It means the government has reduced its investments in the economy,” he said in a statement.
The BJP leader said despite the poor state of the Indian manufacturing sector, the Finance Minister has not come up with any concrete measures to boost investments.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the Finance Minister inherited an 8.5 per cent GDP growth rate, but is exiting on a 4.5 per cent GDP growth.
‘Sharp fall in growth’
“The last three years of the UPA witnessed a sharp fall in the growth rate from a near 9 per cent to less than 5 per cent. He [Mr. Chidambaram], therefore, had to lean back on larger slogans such as his ‘Idea of India’,” Mr. Jaitley said in his statement.
Citing figures, the BJP leader said allocations to various Ministries in the current year shows wide difference between the budget estimates 2013-14 and the revised estimates of 2013-14.
Although it welcomed the ‘one rank, one pension’ announcement, the BJP said the UPA government had been paying lip service to the cause of defence personnel.
More burden on
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau said Mr. Chidambaram’s speech was more of a political statement aimed at the forthcoming elections rather than an effort to overcome the current challenges faced by the economy.
“The manner in which the economy has been managed suggests the worsening of our economic fundamentals. This will mean imposing further burdens on the people who are already groaning under severe hardships, through continued price rise and contraction of employment opportunities.