PATNA: The interim Union budget for 2019-20 sparked a fresh bout of verbal duel between Bihar’s ruling NDA and the RJD-led Opposition Grand Alliance while the state’s industry bodies had mixed reactions on the budgetary provisions announced by Union finance minister Piyush Goyal.
The ruling JD(U) and BJP hailed the budget, but the main Opposition party RJD dubbed it as a “deceptive and desperate” attempt to please voters with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls.
Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar praised the budget as a “positive and welcome” initiative and hailed the income support scheme for farmers. “This step would strengthen the rural economy. The provision of Rs 3,000 pension for workers in the unorganized sector is also a good step. The middle class will get much relief from the tax exemptions,” said Kumar.
“This is a sarvasparshi (positively impacting everyone) budget. It is another surgical strike by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of BJP. “Criticism of the budget by the Opposition parties clearly shows they are bereft of all issues,” added Modi, who is also Bihar’s finance minister.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav accused the central government of violating parliamentary norms by presenting a full budget in the name of an Interim budget. “The new schemes announced in this budget would be implemented by the next government. So this budget is treachery with ordinary citizens,” he added.
“There will be no gains from displaying the basket of lies in the market of tall rhetoric. The people now do not listen to the rhetoric; they understand the words. They do not just smile at such rhetoric but also laugh out loud,” said jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a tweet.
RLSP national general secretary Madhaw Anand described the Union budget as a “populist gimmick,” saying: “It is a populist vote on account meant to fool the people”.
Bihar Chamber of Commerce & Industries (BCCI) expressed mixed reaction on the budget, saying it overlooked Bihar’s interests by making no announcement on the special economic package for the state. “The budgetary announcements offering relief to the middle class and farmers are good steps, but there is no new proposal for Bihar,” said BCCI president PK Agrawal.
“This is a forward-looking budget in many ways, but there is disappointment for medium and small industries as there is no talk about them in it,” said Bihar Industries Association (BIA) president KPS Keshari.