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Opposition Terms Interim Budget 2024 As Election Stunt, BJP Hits Back

Shashi Tharoor also said that the Interim Budget 2024-25 was presented in rhetorical language with very little concrete on implementation.

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Feb 1, 2024 15:57 IST
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Budget 2024
Budget 2024

Congress MP Manish Tewari responded sharply to Indian economist and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s presentation of the Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, labelling it a ‘vote-on-account’ whose only goal is to keep the government solvent for the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

As soon as the budget for 2024-25 was made live, Congress MP Tewari told ANI, “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.”

The Congress leader also expressed concern about the high budget deficit and said, “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.”

Budget deficit typically refers to the situation when a government’s total expenditures exceed its total revenues during a specific period, say a financial year. It indicates that the government is spending more money than it is earning through various sources.

‘Vote on Account’ is a provision under Article 116 of the Indian Constitution that empowers the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the government’s expenditure requirements for a limited period, typically a few months.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also said that the Interim Budget 2024-25 was presented in rhetorical language with very little concrete on implementation.

“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, and very little concrete implementation. The Finance Minister talked about foreign investment without acknowledging that that investment has come down significantly,” Tharoor told ANI.

“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 are 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,” added the Congress leader.

Read More: Soren’s Arrest: ‘ED Become BJP’s Agency,’ Alleges Congress K Suresh

Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, “This budget was hollow. There was nothing for the youth, women, farmers…I saw arrogance when they said that they would present the Budget in July. You cannot take any election for granted.”

While DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran said that the budget rated zero when it came to delivery.

“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” Maran said.

Newly elected AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal called the budget disappointing.

“This is a disappointing budget. Inflation and unemployment are at their peak in the country but there is nothing about it in the budget…It is a disappointing budget for the common people” the AAP MP said.

BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad however hit back at the opposition saying that India has now entered the Top 5 econnomies in the world from Fragile 5.

“This is a very effective and historical interim budget. It mentions the achievements of the past and a strong path towards the future. We will present the full budget in July… The number of taxpayers has increased. They have faith in the government that their money will not be misused… India has traversed a path from ‘Fragile 5’ to the world’s ‘Top 5’ economies in just 10 years” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday presented the Interim Budget 2024 and expressed hope that the good policies and the work done by the Central government will help the BJP return to power for the third consecutive time in a row.

Addressing the Lok Sabha, the Union Finance Minister in her budget speech said, “Our young country has high aspirations, pride in its present and hope and confidence for a bright future. We expect that our government based on its stupendous work will be blessed again by the people with a resounding mandate.”

FM Sitharaman in her speech included key subjects on inclusive development, infrastructure, green growth, youth power, financial sector.

Ahead of the General elections, Sitharaman said that the government proposes to increase capital expenditure outlay by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11.11 lakh crore in 2024-25.

FM Sitharaman also said that PM SVANIDHI, a flagship initiative focusing on street vendors has extended credit assistance to 78 lakh street vendors across the country.

Presenting the Union Budget 2023, FM Sitharaman pegged the fiscal deficit target for 2024-25 at 5.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

As expected and in relief for the citizens, the central government neither tweaked nor put any additional tax burden on citizens, in the interim Budget for 2024-25 tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

FM Sitharaman in her interim budget speech said that the government will encourage vaccination for girls in the age group of 9 to 14 years for the prevention of cervical cancer.

Among others, the Finance Minister highlighted that the BJP-led Central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in focusing on four major castes – Garib (Poor), Mahilayen (Women), Yuva (Youth) and Annadata (Farmer).

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called the Interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Thursday, “inclusive and innovative”.

PM Modi, in his first post-budget remarks, said that the Interim Budget empowers the four pillars of Viksit Bharat.

Source: ANI

First published on: Feb 01, 2024 03:57 PM IST

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