Mamata, Left slam Modi government over interim union budget
New Delhi, Feb 1 (IBNS): Despite a populist interim union budget presented by acting Finance Minister, Piyush Goyal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Left raised questions on the feasibility of the measures taken by the Narendra Modi government just few months before the 2019 General Elections.
Amid the opposition Congress' announcements of farm loan waivers in states they won polls and income support promises, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government took the rivals' bullish campaign by horn.
Goyal proposed yearly income of Rs. 6000 per annum assured under PM Kisan scheme targeting 12 crore small and marginal farmers and a rise in the income tax exemption limit to Rs. 5 lakh as he presented the National Democratic Alliance Government's sixth and final budget on Friday.
Reacting to the budget, Mamata held a press conference where she stated, "We feel this budget is an expiry budget. This is a budget of desperation and will not be implemented. The tenure of this government will be over in one month. After elections, a new government will come and present a new budget. I am not an economist, but I have practical experience and ideas."
"Nobody knows what is the economic situation of the country. It is obvious that economic emergency is going in the country. Our apprehension is where this money will be coming after demonetisation, GST and RBI disaster," added the Chief Minister.
According to the budget proposal, which obviously aims at the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, standard deduction is to be raised from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000 while salary earners of up to Rs. 6,50,000 income are not to pay tax if they make tax related investments.
Issuing a press brief, CPI-M said: "The Modi government has now become famous for supressing and manipulating data and offering jumlas to the people. The Interim Budget for 2019-20 is yet another exercise in the same vein. The acting Finance Minister made tall claims during his speech about the record of the Modi government and promises of a rosy future for all Indians – which was a cruel joke played on the suffering people of the country."
In a much similar tune of Mamata, her arch-rival CPI-M said: "The Budget presented before Parliament today cannot be the final budget for this year because the government presenting it, and the Lok Sabha considering it, will both cease to exist less than two months into the financial year to which the budget pertains."
Other aspects of the budget:
Goyal said an outlay of Rs. 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20 with additional Rs. 20,000 crore in RE 2018-19 has been approved in the Budget.
He also announced the outlay for Rashtriya Gokul mission increased to Rs 750 crore.
He said under this more than Rs. 23,000 crore tax relief will go to 3 crore middle class taxpayers.
The Finance Minister announced that all income tax returns will now be processed in 24 hours and refunds issued simultaneously.
Standing in as finance minister as Arun Jaitley is on medical leave, this is Goyal’s first budget speech, though it is the second time that he is holding interim charge of the finance ministry.
The minister also announced setting up a separate fisheries department and subsidy and said the Narendra Modi government had increased minimum support price of farming products by 50 per cent, thereby increasing the income of farmers.
With an eye on the Lok Sabha polls and winning votes to return to power at the Centre, Congress President Rahul Gandhi last Monday promised that his party would ensure minimum income guarantee for every poor in the country if the Congress-led government was formed after the general elections this year.
Presenting the Union Budget 2019, Goyal said that defence budget has been increased to more than Rs three lakh crore- the highest ever- for the financial year 2019-20.
Goyal also said that Rs 35,000 crore has already been disbursed under 'One Rank, One Pension' for the armed forces.
During his budget speech, Goyal also said that substantial pay hike has been announced for the military personnel.
More allocations will be made to the defence forces if needed, Goyal added.
The government has unveiled its vision for the next decade, listing thereby ten most important dimensions in 2030.