Oppn parties slam govt over Budget, say nothing in it for common man

Oppn parties slam govt over Budget, say nothing in it for common man

New Delhi: Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha on Friday charged that the Union Budget serves the interests of capitalists that will help the rich turn richer and has nothing for the common man, even as the BJP defended saying it has earmarked funds for all including strengthening of health sector.

Participating in the debate on the budget, leaders of parties like the Congress, BSP, AAP and Left launched an all-out attack on the BJP government for allegedly selling off the country's assets and PSUs to big industrialists.

Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that the budget helped the rich capitalists and was asking the poor, the oppressed and the downtrodden to become 'atmanirbhar' (self sufficient).

He alleged that the cess imposed by the government was an attempt by it to deprive the states of their share in taxes.

He alleged that PM Narendra Modi recently quoted his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Sharad Pawar selectively and out of context on the issue of farm reforms, and recalled that he, as Gujarat chief minister, had recommended a law to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers.

"The country is passing through a bad time due to decisions like demonetisation and the GST. The government is helping and supporting the big people and is asking the poor, the weaker and the downtrodden to become 'artmanirbhar'," Gohil alleged.

Binoy Biswam (CPI) charged that in the name of 'atmanirbhar', this budget is clearly helping capitalists.

"Is this the model of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' that you surrender everything to capitalists. This government can be called a government of FDI for capitalists. Don't try to cheat people, as it is time they understood this," he alleged.

Biswam alleged that the government is selling everything from air to sea to land and even underground and is "blindly following" the capitalist model.

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda (JDS) said the finance minister has provided for all that is required to deal with the pandemic in this budget.

He was of the view that privatization is not always good for all sectors as sometime it creates private monopoly also.

Ashok Siddharth (BSP) said there is nothing in this budget for the common man as it is trying to sell the country's assets and PSUs.

"This government wants the rich to turn richer and the poor poorer," he charged, adding that it is not fair to give away the rights of poor, Dalits to industrialists.

The BSP member said the interests of SCs/STs and OBC are being hurt the most through privatisation and asked the government to bring a law to enforce reservation for SC/ST/OBC in the private sector.

Sanjay Singh (AAP) charged that the government was selling off everything to private companies and big industrialists.

Participating in the debate, Satish Chandra Misra of BSP asked the government to waive the customs duty on the import of radiation machines used for treatment of cancer patients.

India is recording 12 lakh new cases of cancer every year. Besides, the country is witnessing around 5.5 lakh death every year, which is even higher than the total mortality of 1.5 lakh from COVID-19 in India, on which the government has spent more than Rs 35,000 crore for vaccine only.

"Death by cancer is increasing every year and according to WHO report which is alarming, says every one among 15 people in India face the risk of cancer," he said adding.

According to Misra, all machines used for radiation therapy are either imported from Sweden or the USA.

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