Today: Jun 25, 2024

NC, PDP, CPI(M) pick holes in Budget

3 mins read

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir has been neglected in the Union Budget and it has no roadmap for dealing with rising prices and unemployment, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) said on Wednesday.

“The budget has not brought any good news for the poor, unemployed youths and farmers besides small traders who are worst affected by the economic policies of the BJP government,” PCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said in a statement.

He said the budget has no roadmap for dealing with rising prices, large-scale unemployment, and the economic crisis faced by farmers.

“Jammu and Kashmir has been suffering for the last over three years and it has been neglected in the budget,” he said, adding even the wages of MGNREGA workers have not been enhanced.

“There is no good news for the Anganwadi workers, daily-wagers, and the working class except a small tax rebate to the middle class. Farmers, who were promised to double their income, are in great economic distress and there is no relief for them in the budget,” he said.

Senior CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami said the Union budget for 2023-24 was a “huge disappointment” for Jammu and Kashmir as the proposals contained in it failed to address the basic and fundamental issues of the region, which is mostly dependent on agriculture and horticulture.

He said the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was just “jugglery of words” as it lacked the vision to tackle the growing unemployment, price rise and provide relief to the protesting daily wagers and other workers and employees under various government schemes.

“The budget is a huge disappointment for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It has failed to address the basic and fundamental issues of the region, which is mostly dependent on agriculture and horticulture,” Tarigami was quoted as saying by PTI.

He said reducing the expenditure on agriculture at the national level will have an impact on Jammu and Kashmir as well.

“The year 2022 proved to be devastating for apple growers as they suffered huge losses due to the falling prices of their produce. There was no mention or attempt to provide any relief to them. The same is true about the farmers growing wheat, rice, and saffron crops who also suffered losses,” he said.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader claimed that nothing was proposed in the budget to boost business, tourism, and the MSME sector.

He also slammed the BJP-led Centre for not announcing budgetary allocations for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and providing relief to the workers engaged under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and other similar schemes.

“The budget is just a jugglery of words as there is nothing for the people of Jammu and Kashmir in it,” he said.

National Conference (NC) described the Union budget as a “big flop” and “jugglery of words”, saying the only takeaway from it was that it was presented by a woman finance minister under a woman president.

“It was a jugglery of words and there was nothing else in the budget. Except for playing with words and figures, I think the budget is a big flop,” NC’s chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said here.

Referring to a recent Oxfam report, which stated that the income of 84 percent of households in the country declined and the number of billionaires increased from 102 in 2020 to 142 in 2022, he said in India, the poor have become poorer and the rich richer.

“The middle class and the poor had expected that the 80C (section of the IT Act) limit would be increased, the tax slab would be increased to Rs 10 lakh. There was no discussion on horticulture, agriculture, tourism, transport, artisans, at least for Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu and Kashmir had expected a lot from this budget, but there is nothing in it, nothing about joblessness or employment (generation),” the NC leader said.

He claimed that there is nothing in the budget for the poor and the middle class.

“The only takeaway is that this budget has been presented under a woman president, by a woman finance minister. That is the only good part about it,” he added.

Sadiq said there was no pre-budget consultation with the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.

“It brings me to the question of how important an elected government is in Jammu and Kashmir, which at least feels the pulse of the people,” he added.

The Union Budget is not people-friendly as it has been prepared keeping in mind the interests of a few businessmen, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti alleged on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters here, the former chief minister said the budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is the same as the ones presented by the BJP-led government over the last eight-nine years.

“Taxes have increased and money is not being spent on welfare schemes or subsidies. Taxes are being amassed for their crony capitalists. The taxes imposed should have benefited the people, but they have broken their backs.

“Rather than benefiting people, welfare schemes and subsidies are being done away with. The situation in the country is such that those who had risen above the poverty line have again fallen below it,” Mufti said.

She alleged that the budget has been prepared for “a few businessmen”. “This is not for the people of India, not for the poor,” the former Union minister said.

“This is not a people-friendly budget. The taxes have been increased, the GST (Goods and Services Tax) has been increased. Money will be taken out of the pockets of the poor and it will go to big businessmen,” Mufti said.

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