Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has described the Union Budget for the new financial year as “anti-people, lacklustre, directionless and absolutely disappointing” and certain to take the nation from “bad to worse days”.
Commenting on Pranab Mukherjee's Budget proposals, Mr. Modi said the common man was “totally missing” from the 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 Union Budget and Rs.40,000 crore in the Railway Budget would adversely affect the 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 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 gone up 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.