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Mamata slams Union Budget, calls it anti-people, anti-farmer

Mamata slams Union Budget, calls it anti-people, anti-farmer

Kolkata/Siliguri: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday criticised the Union Budget presented by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament earlier in the day, maintaining that it would impact farmers and poor people across the country. She said: "It is anti-farmer, anti-people and anti-country Budget."

"The Budget is not in favour of the farmers and poor people of the country. What kind of Budget is this? It's a fake Budget. 'Bhekdhari' 'sarkarer fakedari' Budget (It is a fake budget of the deceptive government," Banerjee said on the occasion of virtual inauguration of a bridge in Siliguri.

"With the repeated rise in fuel prices, all essential commodity prices will be affected," she added.

The Chief Minister alleged that the BJP government is all set to sell off the country having initiated the process by selling off the Public Sector Units.

"They are selling off everything, from Railways, Air India, BSNL everything is up for sales. 23 PSUs are to be sold," she stated. Banerjee further added that people are not secure economically anymore under the present Union government.

"Now, they will privatise insurance. One day on the lines of demonetisation they will close down banks also. Even the jobs of Central government employees are not secure with their urge to privatise everything," alleged Banerjee.

She further dubbed the Union government's allotment of Rs 25,000 crore to build 675 km of roads in Bengal, including the Kolkata-Siliguri road as a mere eyewash.

"What else will you do? We have already done all this and are continuously doing it. What are you trying to bluff us with at the time of elections," questioned Banerjee.

Regarding the Siliguri-Kolkata connectivity, the Chief Minister said the state has resolved problems pertaining to the road in Islampur and Malda.

Meanwhile, state Finance minister Amit Mitra attacked the Centre calling the Union Budget to be visionless and confusing "as the only clarity in the Budget lies in how to sell off government resources" and it will not stimulate demand in the economy.

Stating that there is no mention about the unorganised sector that shares 93 percent employment and contributes to 40 percent GDP, he raised suspicion over selling out of more PSUs with the term "privatisation" being used for the first time, giving up the earlier term "disinvestment".

He slammed the Centre for no allocation of Budget for the state to tackle Covid and the Amphan aftermath. "The announcement of Rs 64,000 crore for health sector is a gimmick as it has to be spent for over six years," Mitra said mentioning about Bengal's success in constructing 88,841 km rural roads and 5,111 km state roads in the past 10 years. "Why have you woken up today? Why didn't you do this before? Answer is simple: Three poll bounds states — Assam, Karnataka and Bengal — have been picked. It is very sad that the Union Budget is only directing to states having forthcoming elections," Mitra said.

"There is not a speck to stimulate demand in the economy as seen in the budget. It does not have any macroeconomic rationale and is directionless. The only main objective is to sell family silver," Mitra said at a virtual news conference.

"Money should have been given in the hands of people like other countries have done. On the other hand, the government is trying to sell public assets like railways, airports, ports and also announced divestment of two public sector banks," Mitra said.

He also said the foreign ceiling on equity investments in insurance companies has been raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.

He claimed that devolution of funds till December this fiscal has been Rs 10,000 crore less for Bengal and there is no reflection of that in the Budget.

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