'Pegasus spin' Budget has zero for common people: Mamata

Pegasus spin Budget has zero for common people: Mamata

Kolkata: Terming the Union Budget "a Pegasus Spin Budget", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it has "zero" for the common public who are being crushed by unemployment and inflation. She alleged that the government is lost in big words that signify nothing.


Amit Mitra, special advisor to the Chief Minister on Finance, termed the Budget as a bluff, lacking understanding of the ground reality. "It is serving the misplaced dream of some people," he maintained, adding: "No section of society has benefitted. It is a Budget without any planning."

Mitra said the Budget has not mentioned anything on the mounting unemployment in the country. There are three crore unemployed people in the country and no plan has been made for them.

The Centre had reduced the corporate tax. But as no new industry came up during the pandemic, the corporate giants made the highest profit in the past four years.

Mitra said silently the budgetary allocation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme (MGNREGA) has been brought down to Rs 73,000 crore from Rs 98,000 crore. This will affect the income of people under the 100 days work programme. "Rural economy will be badly hit due to the curtailment of the fund under MGNREGA," he said. "Many people who had been given jobs under the scheme will be jobless," he added.

Mitra stated nothing has been mentioned about the schemes which are meant for social protection. No scheme has been taken for the elderly. No scheme has been taken to augment the income of the farmers.

The Finance minister has spoken about the vision of new India, but will the unemployed people survive till then, Mitra questioned. "It is a directionless Budget without any proper planning," he said.

During the Covid pandemic, the informal sector has been shattered and in the MSME sector, the supply chain has been badly hit. "The FM talks about the blockchain but how to revive it when the supply chain has been crushed has not been mentioned in the Budget," he said.

"The Budget has not given any relief to the salaried middle class. No relief has been given to the income tax. More than 1.2 crore people lost their jobs during the pandemic. The FM has not said anything about how the prices of essential commodities can be reduced to give relief to the middle class," Mitra said.

Calling the Budget anti-people senior Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien tweeted: "Diamonds are this government's best friend.

For the rest — farmers, middle class, daily earners, unemployed — this is a PM (Does Not) Care #Budget2022."

Echoing similar thoughts, Congress on Tuesday termed the Union Budget "insipid" and "uninspiring" with no ideas or proposals to boost consumption and provide relief to the poor, salaried class, middle class or the farmers.

In its initial comments, the party said the salaried class and the middle class – reeling under the impact of the pandemic, pay cuts and "back breaking" inflation – were hoping for relief. "The Finance Minister and the Prime Minister have again deeply disappointed them in direct tax measures. This is a betrayal of India's salaried class and the middle class," Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.

Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram termed the Budget speech by Sitharaman as the "most capitalist Budget to be ever read" by a Finance minister. Taking a swipe at the Union Finance minister, Chidambaram thanked Sitharaman for "remembering that there are poor people" in the country as the word 'poor' occurs only twice, in paragraph 6, of the Budget speech. He asserted that the people of this country will reject the "capitalist budget".

"Today's (Tuesday) Budget speech was the most capitalist speech to be ever read by a Finance minister. The word 'poor' occurs only twice in para 6 and we thank the Finance minister for remembering that there are poor people in this country," the senior Congress leader said.

Chidambaram expressed shock that the government was outlining a plan for the next 25 years when the country require urgent measures.

Lok Sabha MP Manish Tewari called the Budget "insipid, unimaginative, uninspiring, unrealistic and unimplementable."

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury asked who will benefit from the Budget. "The richest 10% Indians own 75% of the country's wealth. Bottom 60% own less than 5%. Why are those who amassed super profits during the pandemic, while joblessness, poverty and hunger have grown, not being taxed more?" he sought to know.

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