Chennai: The Union budget for 2019-20 presented by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday has turned out to be “extremely disappointing” to large sections of the people including the poor, middle class, farmers and working class, the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president K S Azhagiri, has said.
Responding to the budget, Azhagiri said in a statement here that the budget text structuring defied all established conventions, not even mentioning figures of total revenues and expenditure of the Central government, the fiscal deficit numbers, additional resource mobilization and so on, besides allocations for major development and welfare programmes, relegating them to the annexure.
In particular, Mr Azhagiri said the drastic cut in the allocation for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), or the rural jobs scheme, by more than Rs.1,000 crore for this year, than the revised estimate for 2018-19, has “shocked and pained everybody.”
Referring to the concessions doled out in the budget to the corporate sector, he said they were a clear indication that the BJP had been the biggest beneficiary from the donations through the electoral bonds scheme, from which the party benefitted during the Lok Sabha polls.
He said the increase in the price of petrol and diesel, besides in the customs duty for gold will hit the ordinary and middle class sections of the people severely. The budget had neither made any allocation to address the severe drought and drinking water shortage, nor for any railway schemes in Tamil Nadu, besides for inter-linking of rivers, he said.
The budget text giving the impression that the Centre had already accepted the new Education policy even before getting the States' consent was fraught with severe consequences in a federal set-up, cautioned Azhagiri.