CHENNAI: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) working president and Opposition Leader M K Stalin has termed the AIADMK government’s 2017-18 budget as ‘old wine in a new bottle’.
Speaking to reporters after Thursday’s Assembly session, he said while no new schemes have been announced, particularly regarding power generation and agriculture, increasing debt burden was a cause for great concern.
Tamil Nadu Pradesh Congress Committee (TNCC) president S Thirunavukkarasar said, “With unemployment count reaching one crore, mere increment in monthly aid to unemployed youth was not going to help in the longer run.”
However, Thirunavukkarasar welcomed the announcements made in health, home and revenue departments.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Tamilisai Soundararajan ridiculed the government’s claim that this was a tax-free budget.
“By increasing VAT on petroleum products and the price of milk, bus fare beforehand, the burden was already on the people,” she said and rejected the claim over financial loss due to implementation of UDAY scheme.
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader S Ramadoss said the allocation of Rs 26,932 crore and Rs 10,150 crore for school education and health respectively was way below what Kothari commission had recommended. “That the State was able to collect Rs 87,287 crore as tax against Rs 90,691 crore estimation reflected the failure of the government authorities,” he said.
Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder Vijayakant said while last year’s budget announcements were still on paper, the government should focus more on implementation.
On the other hand, MDMK general secretary Vaiko welcomed various announcements including Kancheepuram medi park and food product clusters. However, he expressed disappointment over no announcement on release of arrears to sugarcane farmers.
Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary R Mutharasan said the government has ignored the welfare of unorganised sector and construction workers. “There is no attempt to pressurise the Centre to release pending amounts and pass the NEET Bill,” he added.
“Despite an unprecedented drought this year, the government has not responded appropriately by increasing food production target.
“Rather, it has reduced the target from 1.47 crore ton last year to 1 crore ton this year,” said CPM state secretary G Ramakrishnan.