Tamil Nadu

Opposition parties assail Union budget proposals

The Union budget on Friday evoked mixed reaction from AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, who appreciated some of the announcements while criticising others.

Other Opposition leaders expressed unhappiness over the major proposals. They welcomed the allocation of Rs.200 crore for combating pollution in Tirupur and the changes in the income tax slabs but criticised the proposal to disinvest in Public Sector Units, inadequate allocation for agriculture and excise duty on petroleum products.

In a statement here, Ms. Jayalalithaa said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had missed an opportunity to unfold a forward looking blueprint when the whole world was going through a major financial and economic crisis and all hopes were on a resilient India.

She said the offer of direct subsidy to farmers was a good move, but offset by the reduction in fertilizer subsidy.

Recalling the election manifesto of the AIADMK, which had promised exemption of income tax for annual income up to Rs.5 lakh, she said Mr. Mukherjee seemed to have taken a leaf out of it, but had restricted total exemption to Rs.1.6 lakh.

She alleged that little had been done to improve India’s anti-terror infrastructure. “With hostile neighbours across the borders on all sides, a much larger defence outlay was also called for,” she said.

MDMK general secretary Vaiko said increasing the excise duty on petroleum products would escalate the prices of essential commodities as there was no plan to ban online and futures trading.

He said liberalising retail trading would severely affect crores of retail traders and labourers dependant on the trade. “There is no concrete plan to generate employment and provide job security.”

PMK leader S. Ramadoss said the budget had proved the point that Mr. Mukherjee “is not the poor man’s finance minister.” “Announcement on direct taxes will only benefit the rich. If excise duty on petrol and diesel will have a direct bearing on the price of essential commodities, the middle class will bear the brunt of tax on cement.”

CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said announcement to disinvest in public sector units would ultimately lead to privatisation of these profit-making units. He said that Rs.200 crore for controlling pollution in Tirupur was inadequate.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 4:16:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Opposition-parties-assail-Union-budget-proposals/article16817208.ece

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