Mumbai Local

Budget a ‘jugglery of numbers’: Opposition

While the state budget for 2016-17 appears to give assistance to the farming community, it also seems to be affecting the middle class, directly or indirectly. While the government has increased several taxes on basic goods such as coconut oil and towels, eating out could also become expensive with an increase in composite tax on chain restaurants from the existing 5 per cent to 8 per cent.

“Increase in composite tax on hotel chains is a major setback and will be passed on to the end-user,” said Arvind Shetty, Association of Hotels and Restaurant (AHAR).

The Opposition called the budget a ‘jugglery of numbers’, claiming it has brought the bad news of price hikes to the middle class. Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said, “It has neither benefited farmers nor the middle class. The government has sidelined pressing issues conveniently.” He said drought did not find mention the ‘farmer-friendly’ budget speech.

The BJP praised the budget for putting agriculture and rural Maharashtra on the path to development. “Despite negative growth in the agriculture sector, the state’s growth rate has jumped from 5.8% to 8%. This is the result of the government’s planning and honest efforts,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, adding the budget will also give incentives to industries in regions like Marathwada and Vidarbha.

Former Finance Minister and NCP MLA Jayant Patil said the government will be spending over 60 per cent of the budget only on salaries, pensions and repaying loans . “How much will it spare for developmental activities?” he asked, pointing out that the provision for capital expenditure is 11%.

“Last year, the government had allocated Rs 54,999 crore for planned expenditure; this has reduced by 30%, and non-plan expenditure is down by 10 per cent. How can such cuts contribute to the growth rate?” Patil said.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 8:36:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/budget-a-jugglery-of-numbers-opposition/article8374195.ece

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