Opposition calls 2023 Budget 'anti-people', 'Amrit Kaal for PM Modi, not for people'

The 2023 Union Budget attempted to maintain a balance between staying fiscally prudent and meeting public expectations in the year before the general elections.

Published: 01st February 2023 04:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2023 05:01 PM   |  A+A-

Union Budget

A copy of Union Budget 2023-24 in the backdrop of the Parliament House in New Delhi, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (Photo | PTI)

By Online Desk

Several opposition leaders on Wednesday criticised the BJP government over its last full Budget for the second term, terming it a budget prepared with an eye towards the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attempted to maintain a balance between staying fiscally prudent and meeting public expectations in the year before the general elections.

Terming the Union Budget "anti-people", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it will deprive the poor. Addressing a government function at Bolpur in Birbhum district, she claimed that the changes in the income tax slabs will not help anyone.

"This Union Budget is not futuristic, totally opportunistic, anti-people and anti-poor. It will benefit only one class of people. This Budget will not help address the country's unemployment issue. It has been prepared with an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections," she said.

"The changes in the income tax slabs will not help anyone. There is no ray of hope in this Budget -- it is a dark dark budget. Give me half an hour and I will show you how to prepare a Budget for the poor," she added.

'Hum Do Humare Do'

TMC leader Shatrughan Sinha said that the Union Budget had a major focus on "Hum Do Humare Do" and had nothing special for the people belonging to the middle-class strata.

"The budget was presented keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and there was nothing special mention for the middle-class people. Looking at the budget, it seems as if it has been created to specially care about the 'Hum Do Humare Do' as it is evident from the significantly reduced highest slab for Income Tax payers. People understand it well whom have they done it for," Shatrughan Sinha said.

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'Over Promise, under deliver'

The Congress said the actual expenditure was substantially lower than budgeted last year and alleged that this was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strategy of headline management -- "over promise, under deliver."

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said last year's budget drew applause for allocation towards agriculture, health, education, MGNREGA and welfare of SCs, but "today the reality is evident."

"Actual expenditure is substantially LOWER than budgeted. This is Modi's OPUD strategy of headline management - Over Promise, Under Deliver," he said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Kamal Nath said the Finance Minister's budget speech is an attempt to "cover up old promises of the government with 'jumlas.' We expected the FM will throw light on the announcements that were to be completed in 2022".

Referring to the "unfulfilled promises" of the BJP-led Central government, Nath tweeted, "the income of farmers was to be doubled by 2022, housing was to be available to every poor by 2022, the bullet train was to run in the country by 2022. But the Finance Minister neither gave any reason for the non-fulfilment of these announcements nor apologized to the people of the country."

'Amrit Kaal for PM, not for people' 

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) questioned Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's claim about doubling of per capita income since 2014, saying it is 'Amrit Kaal' for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, not for the common people of the country.

"Neither did the MSP of crops increase nor did the youth get employment. But this is Amrit Kaal for Modi ji. Nirmala ji is saying per capita income has doubled," AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who is also the party's national spokesperson, said in a series of tweets in Hindi, wondering "whose income" doubled.

The AAP leader said the Union Budget for 2023-24, presented by the finance minister in Parliament, does not have any provision for the country's farmers, soldiers and youth. "No provision for anyone in the budget. Common people are longing for Amrit (nectar) in the Amrit Kaal," Singh said.

Latching on to the finance minister's proposal that 50 additional airports will be revived, the AAP MP took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Modi ji will build 50 new airports. Who will get them?" Singh said in a tweet.

The AAP's Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha termed the budget "most lacklustre" and said it is bereft of "any effort or serious application of mind."

"It sounded like a budget presented by a minority government with its hands tied rather than a government with a brute majority," he tweeted.

ALSO READ | Budget 2023: What's costlier, what's cheaper

'Budget gives nirasha instead of asha' 

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said the Union Budget for 2023-24 has given "nirasha" (despair) instead of "asha" (hope) to the people of the country. He also claimed that the budget further increases inflation and unemployment.

"The BJP is completing a decade of its budgets, but when it did not give anything to the public earlier, what will it give now?" Yadav tweeted in Hindi.

"The BJP's budget further increases inflation and unemployment. It does not give 'asha' but 'nirasha' to farmers, labourers, youth, women, professionals and the business class. This budget is for the benefit of a few rich people," he added.

'Better if budget is more for country than a party' 

Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati took a veiled jibe at the Centre for its Union Budget presented in the Parliament and said that it should be for the country instead of being for a party.

"Whenever the Centre talks about the beneficiaries of a scheme, it must remember that India is a vast country of about 130 crore poor peoples, labourers, deprived citizens, farmers etc. who are yearning for their Amrit Kaal. It is better if the budget is more for the country than for a party," BSP chief Mayawati said in a series of tweets.

Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said that the presented budget has been very much similar to the ones presented in the last nine years with huge promises and announcements being showered on the common citizens.

"All the promises, announcements, claims and expectations showered by the Centre in its budget during the last nine years became meaningless [bemani] when the middle-class section of India became lower middle class due to inflation, poverty, and unemployment," she said mentioning that the Union Budget 2023 has not been any different."

"This year's budget is not much different. No government tells its shortcomings of the last year but line the people up with new promises. People live on hopes, but why give false hopes?" she added.

She further said that the narrow policies of the government have the biggest side effects on the lives of the people connected to rural India.

Terming rural India as the real India, Mayawati said that the "narrow policies" and "wrong thinking" of the government have the biggest side effects on the lives of the crores of poor farmers and other hardworking people connected with rural India. The government should pay attention to their self-respect and self-reliance so that the pockets of the common man are filled and the country can develop further, she added.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI, IANS)


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