Budget 2020

Budget 2020 | Opposition gives the thumbs down

Terms Finance Minister’s speech a classic case of filibustering

 

Opposition parties gave the thumbs down to the Union Budget, saying Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman failed to give a clear road map on how to pull the economy out of the slump and her two hour and 40 minutes speech was a classic case of filibustering.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury called it the longest ‘non budget’ Budget speech by any Finance Minister. “The less you have to say longer will be the speech,” he said. The Budget had completely failed to address the current economic slowdown. It did not have a road map for a turnaround of the economy. The economy was bordering on recession and Ms Sitharaman failed to answer the crucial question of how to boost public consumption. The Finance Minister was hiding the real numbers. Instead of mentioning tax revenue, she listed out receipts that include Rs 1.76 lakh crore payout by RBI and the funds received by privatisation of public sector units. The government was meeting the revenue shortfall by privatisation like selling a stake in Life Insurance Corporation of India, he added.

NCP leader Supriya Sule said the Minister didn’t elucidate her plan to double farmers’ income.“There is no content in the Budget. They claim that they will be doubling up the farmers’ income in two years but there was not a single word on the minimum support price. So how will they do it? This is just another ‘jumla’ and she just reiterated hackneyed phrases,” she said.

Watch | Highlights of Union Budget 2020-21
 

Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav said the Budget did not lay down a road to bring in investments. Ms. Sitharaman deliberately read out a long speech to obfuscate. “We all were hopeful but the Budget was deeply disappointing. This is a bankrupt Budget. The entire banking sector has collapsed, agrarian crisis is still going on, there are no jobs and yet the Budget didn't provide answers to any of these questions,” he said.

Biju Janata Dal Lok Sabha member Pinaki Misra said the Budget failed to address the Odisha government's concern over delayed GST payouts. “I thought it was needlessly too long, full of platitudes and very low on actual content. I think the narrowness of vision of the government is little surprising. A government which is talking about five trillion dollar economy is talking about income tax slabs of 5 lakh or 7.5 lakh and labour over so much over it,” Mr Misra told The Hindu.

TMC MP Derek O' Brien said the Budget took the country from economic crisis to economic disaster. There was no mention of employment generation, relief for the poor or unorganised sector. Instead it had proposed a cess on the health sector. “The government is selling the family jewels, railways, BSNL, Air India and now LIC. And the worst still LIC sale will be used to compensate States on GST. What's going on here?,” he stated.

 

The speech had bluffed and misled on many counts. At current rate, farmers’ income could be doubled only by 2030. ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, which the Finance Minister hailed for significant improvement, was a big con. “Rs 644 crore was spent on ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ for all of India. And 56 per cent of this money was spent on advertisements alone,” he added.

CPI general secretary D Raja said the Budget was a shameless declaration that the government was abdicating all its responsibilities. “This Budget is a budget for privatisation and everything is to be done using the PPP route, including railways, health and infrastructure”. Selling a stake in LIC was a retrograde move. “Despite the repeated claim of the government to double farmers’ income, the distress continues. No hope to be seen in the Budget for millions of unemployed youth of the country,” he stated.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 9:54:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/budget-2020-opposition-gives-the-thumbs-down/article30714992.ece

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