Charging the government with failure to address inflation and black money in the general budget, the Opposition on Wednesday described it as lacklustre with no initiatives to propel growth.

Initiating the debate on Union Budget 2011-12 in the Rajya Sabha, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee had drawn any roadmap to check rising prices.

“We regret to say in this entire budget there is no roadmap for tackling inflation and people are left in the lurch. I do not see this budget will propel growth,” he said.

Mr. Prasad said while foodgrains were rotting and inflation saw a meteoric rise against a backdrop where 80 per cent children and 70 per cent women were suffering from malnutrition.

“It is a classic case of gross mismanagement as a huge quantity of foodgrains is rotting outside godowns at a time when people are suffering due to hunger. Opposition-ruled States were being discriminated against allocation from the Central pool,” he charged.

The BJP leader said the government failed to bring down inflation and was only making a pious wish that it would come down next year. No concrete measures were announced in the budget to fuel growth in the agricultural sector and attract educated youth to farming, he said. “There is uncertainty as far as the poor are concerned. A few millionaires have amassed majority of the nation's wealth,” he said.

“Retrieve black money”

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda expressed concern over the growth of black money in the country and hoped that the government would take immediate steps to bring back the money stashed away in foreign banks.

Participating in the debate on the general budget for 2011-12, Mr. Gowda blamed the Income Tax department for its failure to check the black money phenomenon.

He wondered why the authorities were not discharging their duties properly and suggested that the government first take steps to set things right within the country before making a move to retrieve the money stashed in foreign banks.