‘It has failed to meet the expectations of people’

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar has said that the Union Budget lacked the thrust required to drive the nation on the path of development.

Addressing presspersons at a party programme here on Thursday, Mr. Shettar said Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had failed to check the fiscal deficit. While the fiscal deficit needed to be pegged at 3 per cent, Mr. Chidambaram had let it reach 5.2 per cent, which could only result in further inflation, he said.

Mr. Chidambaram had also not emphasised on improving infrastructure in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. There is no mention of extending the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to other cities.

The reduction in allocation under MNREGA wouldbe a major setback to employment generation in rural areas, and overall the budget lacked the potential to boost economic growth.

‘Ineffective’

The budget was “ineffective”, as it had failed to give any assurance to the public that inflation would be checked, said Prahlad Joshi, MP, in a release here.

Although the Finance Minister had said that the focus was on women, youth and the poor, his budget had no specific programme aimed at helping them. The budget had also neglected farming.

Although he welcomed the proposals on a new women’s bank and the second phase of the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak scheme among others, Mr. Joshi expressed doubts over the implementation of these proposals.

N.A. Charantimath, chartered accountant, said that the Chief Minister had mentioned no ‘big-ticket’ proposals in his speech, ones which would greatly affect India’s economy. The budget appeared to have been prepared to please all, keeping in view the parliamentary elections in 2014. Around 3.8 crore people in India are income tax payers; that figure should have gone up to at least 15 to 20 crore. However, there was no hard proposal to tax people with unaccounted money.

Programme

R.R. Biradar, associate professor, Department of Economics, Karnatak University Dharwad, said that in view of the fall in foodgrain production, especially oilseeds and pulses, there should have been a Centrally sponsored programme to explore and exploit rainwater in dry areas. Although the target of the agricultural credit had been increased from Rs. 5,75,000 crore to Rs. 7,00,000 crore, this increase accounted for barely 4 per cent of the total budget.

Despite the sharp decline in the GDP growth rate, the budget had not spoken of any steps to put the Indian economy on a track of sustained and stable growth. The budget had failed to meet the expectations of the people, keeping in mind the current crisis and challenges, he said..

Meanwhile, Suresh Chenni, chairman of the Hubli branch of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, welcomed the budget, saying that the additional investment allowance at 15 per cent on project size of more than Rs. 100 crore was a good move. He also welcomed the voluntary compliance scheme of service tax.


  • Budget gives no assurance to check inflation, says MP

  • ‘It appears to be a consolidation drive, made to please all’


  • More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL