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Updated: March 17, 2012 03:48 IST

Centre must take a cue from Gujarat's budget: Modi

Manas Dasgupta
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A file photo of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu
A file photo of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has described the Central budget for the next financial year presented in Parliament on Friday as “anti-people, lack-lustre, directionless and absolutely disappointing,” which was certain to take the nation from “bad to worse days.”

Commenting on the budget proposals, Mr. Modi said the common man was “totally missing” from the budget proposals, which only reflected the Congress-led UPA government's “political instability, as well its inability to fight burning issues like corruption, inflation and unemployment. It shows absence of the political will necessary for development.”

Mr. Modi said an additional burden of Rs. 80,000 crore on the people, including Rs. 40,000 crore in the general budget and Rs. 40,000 crore in the railway budget would adversely affect the general public across the board.

He described as “cruel” the two-per-cent hike in excise duty and service tax and said it would affect labour-intensive employment avenues like tourism. He said the budget should reflect strong fiscal discipline but this budget proposal did not even show any direction for planned development.

Citing an example of the Centre's “mismanagement of [the] economy”, he said the fiscal deficit had increased from 4.6 per cent last year to 5.1 per cent this year, and the market borrowings from Rs. 3.53 lakh crore to Rs. 4.79 lakh crore.

“This leaves no scope for the private sector. The budget also failed to address the farm sector and women's empowerment,” he said.

Mr. Modi wished the Centre took a cue from his State in terms of budgetary allocations. The State earmarked 67 per cent of its budget on development works as against the Centre's paltry 30 per cent.

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