NEW DELHI: The Congress and the ruling BJP on Wednesday crossed swords over the state of economy as they debated the Narendra Modi Government’s first Budget in the Lok Sabha.
The Congress fielded its former Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to take on the government, while the BJP tasked the newly elected MP Jayant Sinha to lead the charge from its side.
While claiming that the Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has merely copied the UPA’s schemes, Scindia said it has failed to address the issue of price rise. “Imitation is the best form of flattery... This has been done by those who have come to power to free India of the Congress,” he said. Scindia asked the Centre to stop providing excuses and take the bold steps it had promised. “The first Budget of any government is the vision document of that dispensation and not just a financial document,” he said attacking the government for allotting a measly `500 crore for the price stabilisation fund.
Sinha, however, pointed out that Indian economy was one of the worst performing ones in the past 25 years. “Among the major economies, Indian economy is doing poorly. Below five per cent growth for two successive years is scandalous and shameful,” he said.
He delivered a speech peppered with figures and numbers. Sinha said the rate of savings has come down from 33 per cent to 30 per cent and people have started hedging the risks by buying more gold. He said it was the previous UPA Government’s “mindless populism” that has led to higher inflation.