Interim budget an account of votes, not a vote on account : P Chidambaram
New Delhi, Feb 1 (IBNS) : Criticising the interim budget, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said it was an "Account for Votes" and not a Vote on Account, which has further weakened fiscal stability.
He said that the budget was just rip off of the Congress party’s ideas for the poor and that no one believes its tall claims.
“Thank you Interim FM for copying the Congress’ declaration that the poor have the first right to the resources of the country,” the Congress leader tweeted.
“It was not a Vote on Account. It was an Account for Votes,” he also said.
It was not a Vote on Account. It was an Account for Votes.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) February 1, 2019
Thank you Interim FM for copying the Congress' declaration that the poor have the first right to the resources of the country.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) February 1, 2019
Piyush Goyal, who was given the charge of the finance ministry after Arun Jaitley went to the US for medical treatment, presented the BJP-led government’s last budget before a general election due by May.
“The big takeaway is that the present government has further weakened fiscal stability. For the second year in succession the government has missed the fiscal deficit target. The revised estimate shows a slippage from 3.3 per cent to 3.4 per cent. Worse, for 2019-20 too, the government has proposed an FD of 3.4 per cent. The government has thrown the FRBM Act out of the window.... the government will end the year with a Current Account Deficit of 2.5 per cent as against the CAD in the previous year of 1.9 per cent,” Chidambaram said.
He also attacked Goyal who announced a mega pension for workers in the unorganised sector, a department of fisheries and proposed allocations for the welfare of cows.
“The question that naturally springs to one’s mind is ‘if these were important and necessary interventions, what was the government doing for five years’?” Chidambaram asked.
He said that the announcement of the Farmers’ Income Support Scheme to provide a ‘measly sum Rs 6000 per year to every small/medium farmer’ proved the government’s desperation and accused the government of neglecting the urban poor.
He insisted that the Congress’ announcement of a Minimum Income Guarantee “will bring true relief to all the poor households/families of the country, both farmer and non-farmer and both rural and urban.”
Chidambaram said the government has just made tall claims that no one believes.
“The overall impression one got from listening to the Budget Speech was that the government believed its own fake statistics..... the government is so blinded by the dazzle of its fake numbers that it is not able to see that thousands of toilets that were constructed are unused or unusable; that there are thousands of villages and millions of homes that do not get electricity; while the homemaker has taken the first free cylinder and the stove she does not take the second or subsequent cylinder because she cannot put together a lump sum of Rs 750-900 on the day she needs the money; and the Mudra loans have only added to the accumulation of NPAs. No one believes this government’s claims any more and I too shall dismiss the tall claims as irrelevant.”