Budget does nothing to pep up economy: Siddaramaiah

‘Govt.’s decision to sell its stake in LIC shows how depressing the economic situation is’

Describing the Union Budget as disappointing with little scope for restoring the country’s falling economy, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had “failed to meet the expectations of people” and termed her second budget as “uninspiring”.

The expectations on this particular budget were very high, with the country in the grip of serious economic crisis and major industry sectors facing recession, but the budget had done little for dealing with the current crisis, he said.

Mr. Siddaramaiah told reporters here, “I have doubts on whether the Indian economy would be doubled to $5 trillion by 2022 as said by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taking into consideration the country’s present economic situation.”

When Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, the GDP growth was at 8%. Now, the growth rate has plunged to 4.5% and the government hopes to push the growth to 6%, he said. “I do not see the targeted growth would be realised following the downturn.”

The government’s decision to sell its stake in the LIC in the form of IPO shows how depressing the economic situation is, he said.

Arguing that farmers’ income cannot be doubled by 2022 with the steps taken by the Centre, the senior Congress leader said the growth could be achieved if the agriculture sector got an allocation of at least 10% of the budget. With 2.5% allocation, farmers had nothing to rejoice, he observed.

Mr. Siddaramaiah alleged that agricultural land leasing, marketing, and contract farming proposed in the budget would result in privatisation of agriculture, benefiting corporate bodies. “We had sought waiver of farmers’ loans in nationalised banks which was not considered by the Centre,” he said.

In a statement, veteran Congress leader M. Mallikarjun Kharge said the budget was a “long speech with no concrete proposals” to accelerate the growth and provide jobs. The Modi government’s promise to generate two crore jobs per year or of doubling farmers’ income had remained on paper, Mr. Kharge said.

KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre said the budget had not offered any major projects to the State and let down the people’s aspirations.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:59:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/budget-does-nothing-to-pep-up-economy-siddaramaiah/article30715922.ece

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