Chennai: Terming the first budget of the new BJP government presented by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday as a “set of announcements couched in flowery language,” DMK president and Opposition leader in Tamil Nadu Assembly, M K Stalin said it did not reflect the concerns or aspirations of the States.
Regretting there was no specific allocation for any noteworthy scheme for Tamil Nadu in the Central budget, Mr Stalin disapproved of the move to raise funds for railway projects in PPP mode which he felt amounted to “offering the railways on a platter to the private sector.”
Mr Stalin also critcised the plans for government disinvesting from public sector undertakings, which he feared could lead to the “closure” of such units. The increase in the price of petrol and diesel as a result of the budgetary announcement will lead to greater inflation and rise in prices of essential commodities for the common man, said Mr. Stalin.
The budget makes no mention of allocations for inter-linking major rivers, nor does it reach out to Tamil Nadu's worst drought situation this year, particularly the drinking water shortage.
The budget is “silent” on Tamil Nadu's request for Rs.1,000 crore to mitigate the water crisis, he said.
The 10 per cent customs duty on imported newsprint was an attempt to “weaken one of the pillars of democracy” and an attempt to curb the independence of the print media in particular, said Stalin. In toto, the budget while favouring the corporate sector has ignored the poor and economically weaker sections, the DMK leader added....