homepolitics NewsPM Modi hails ‘Amrit Kaal’ Budget for poor and middle class — how Opposition reacted

PM Modi hails ‘Amrit Kaal’ Budget for poor and middle class — how Opposition reacted

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By Akriti Anand  Feb 1, 2023 8:02:13 PM IST (Updated)

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rained compliments on Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget 2023 — the last before the 2024 general elections — Opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, P. Chidambaram and Mamata Banerjee found little to celebrate, even calling it anti-poor.

Hailing the Union Budget 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the first Budget of ‘Amrit Kaal’ will lay a strong foundation for building a developed India. "This Budget will fulfil dreams of aspirational society including poor people, middle-class people and farmers," he said.

PM Modi said the government reduced tax rates to empower the middle class. He thanked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the new Budget and urged citizens to come forwards with the "new aspirations and enthusiasm."

Saying that technology and new economy has been given a special emphasis in the Budget 2023, he added, "We have to repeat digital payment success in agriculture as well." He went on to say: "This budget will work for green growth, green infra, green jobs and green economy."

"All sectors of India need the most adequate and modern infrastructure. 400 percent growth is already seen in infra and more than Rs 10 lakh crore investment will boost infrastructure," Modi said.

He said the Union Budget 2023 is for a sustainable future that would further encourage green energy and infrastructure, resulting in jobs while, underlining the potential of the middle class in realising the dreams of 2047.

'FM's speech lacked words like unemployment, poverty, or inequality'

"The finance minister didn’t mention words like unemployment, poverty, or inequality anywhere in her speech," former finance minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram said hours after the Union Budget was presented in Parliament. He said the Budget shows that the government had not bothered about the people and their concerns, about lives, livelihood and the growing inequality between the rich and poor.
Meanwhile, his son and Congress MP Karti Chidambaram said he was a believer in a low tax regime. "So, any tax cuts are welcome because giving more money into the hands of the people is the best way to boost the economy."
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi countered the government's 'Amrit Kaal' Budget with a ‘Mitr Kaal’ jibe.
He tweeted: "'Mitr Kaal’ Budget has: NO vision to create Jobs; NO plan to tackle Mehngai; NO intent to stem Inequality. 1% richest own 40% wealth, 50% poorest pay 64% of GST, 42% youth are unemployed- yet, PM doesn’t Care! This Budget proves Govt has NO roadmap to build India’s future."

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said there was no mention of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGA). "There's severe demand (for MGNREGA) in the rural areas, unemployment in the country is very very high... where did she talk about the inflation. You are giving tax rebates but people are spending more money."

Reiterating Tharoor's statement, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said the Budget was presented by the Modi government keeping in view the upcoming Assembly polls in 3-4 states. "There's nothing in the Budget for poor people and to control inflation. No steps for jobs, to fill government vacancies and MNREGA," he added.

As per the government report on the Union Budget 2023, Rs 60,000 crore has been allocated to the (MGNREGP) scheme. The slab has been slashed by 32 percent from the revised estimate for 2022-2023 of Rs 89,400 crore.

Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal said this Budget didn't address "real sentiment" of the country — unemployment and price rise. "It only had fancy announcements that were made earlier too but what about the implementation? Only insurance companies were benefited from PM Kisan Yojana not farmers," he added.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shatrughan Sinha declared that the Union Budget 2023 had a major focus on "hum do humare do" and had nothing special for the people belonging to the middle class.
"The budget was presented keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and there was no special mention for the middle-class people. Looking at the budget, it seems as if it has been created to specially care about the 'hum do humare do' as it is evident from the significantly reduced highest slab for income tax payers. People understand it well whom have they done it for," Shatrughan Sinha was quoted by ANI as saying.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the Union Budget 2023 "anti-poor budget and not futuristic." She said, "It is a total opportunistic budget. Amid skyrocketing inflation, what is the benefit of exempting income tax? There is no proposal for the unemployed people in the budget."
Meanwhile, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader Kavitha Kalvakuntla called this Budget a mathematical confirmation of the Modi government's failure. "This seems like a budget for few states. We hoped to get tax rebate of up to Rs 10 lakh. In Telangana, we pay good salaries to people so this rebate is of no use to us," she said.
"The Centre announces development projects in either poll-bound states or BJP-governed states. They announced Rs 10,000 crore for infrastructure, which infrastructure? They are not clear. They owe us Rs 1,000 crore," she said, "requesting" the finance minister to pay the dues." The BRS had boycotted the presidential address ahead of the Budget Session on Tuesday.
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