Budget 2024: The Congress and various opposition parties criticised the Budget, stating that it fails to provide relief to the poor and offers no relief to the middle class, apart from self-congratulatory rhetoric. They argued that the Budget lacks substantial measures to address key concerns
While the Samajwadi Party called it BJP’s ‘farewell budget’, the Congress said this was only done as an administrative exercise to make sure that the government of India has requisite funds to carry out its regular activities.
Here’s how Opposition leaders reacted
Congress Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the Union Budget cannot and does not indicate any policy decision. “But the way the government has presented the budget, it clearly suggests the policy of this government. It is an interim budget and it cannot reflect any policy matter of this government,” he said.
Terming this BJP’s ‘farewell budget’, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav the budget is useless as it has noting for the development of the people. “If any budget is not for development and any development is not for the people then it is useless. The BJP government has created a shameful record by completing a decade of anti-people budgets, which will never be broken again because now is the time for a positive government to come. This is BJP’s ‘farewell budget’,” said Yadav.
Former National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said that it’s an interim Budget, so don’t expect much from it.
Disappointed with the interim Budget, DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran said that nothing much change has happened. “The Finance Minister took a long time to hail praises but delivery was zero. They are going to present a white paper on the previous government. Nothing much has happened in the last 10 years. The people of the country are already disappointed. Moreover, you realise that performance incentives are given to the bridge companies, and not going to the deserving ones. People are rejected with this budget.”
“This is only an interim (budget), vote-on-account, and this was only done as an administrative exercise to make sure that the government of India has requisite funds to carry out its regular activities,” said Congress MP Karti P Chidambaram
He further said that it was a mere administrative exercise to ensure that the government of India has the requisite funds to carry on its normal business until the new parliament is constituted and a new government is formed. “And that’s what they have done, except for making their obligatory self-congratulatory, self-praise phrases, nothing else is there and nothing should have been there, and rightly so. Nothing is there.”
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said that this budget did not include anything for the middle class and the poor.
Congress MP Manish Tewari said it is a ‘vote-on-account’ which has only one purpose to keep the government solvent for the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Tewari said, “This budget only has one motive, which is that the (central) government can work easily in the first quarter of this fiscal year. The main topic of concern is that in the last fiscal year which will end on 31 March 2024, there is a budgetary deficit of Rs 18 lakh crore.”
“What’s worrying is that there is a budget deficit of Rs 18 lakh crores. This means that the government is borrowing for its expenditure. This number is only going to increase next year,” he added.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the budget speech was both short and disappointing, adding trhat there was very little of substance, major omissions and lots of issues were not even touched about. “It was one of the shortest speeches on record in the Budget. Not very much came out of it. As usual a lot of rhetorical language, very little concrete on implementation…She talked about foreign investment without acknowledging that that investment has come down significantly. She talked about a number of things which are couched in vague language like ‘confidence’ and ‘hope’ and so on. But when it comes to hard figures, very few figures available…This is going to be a very disappointing speech in terms of being couched entirely in generalities and without enough substance nor any willingness to address the specific problems of the economy,” he added.
“Where was the budget? Nothing new was announced,” ask MP Danish Ali.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, “There was nothing in the Budget. One thing I appreciate is that since it’s a pre-poll Budget, freebies will be announced; they didn’t do that but they patted their own back.”