CPI-M terms budget 'contractionary'
The CPI-M on Wednesday said the budget 2017-18 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was a "contractionary" budget, one which fails to spark expansion of economy.
"We are calling it a contractionary budget, as opposed to an expansionary budget as it is not expanding domestic demand. There is decline in revenue expenditure, no employment generation and it is seeking to hike indirect taxes, which will burden the common man," said Communist Party of India (CPI-M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.
He said that the revenue loss incurred through income tax relaxation would be around Rs 20,000 crore and the government seeks to make it up through indirect taxes such as excise, customs, service tax etc.
"By giving relaxation in income tax rate they are giving relief to those who can afford, but by hiking indirect taxes, they are burdening the masses," Yechury said.
He also questioned in the government's claim to have increased fund allocation under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
"Last year, the expenditure on MNREGA was Rs 47,400 crore. This year it is proposed to be Rs 48,000 crore. So what is the difference?" he said.
He said that Rs 9,000 crore hike on rural spending is a "pittance" in real terms.