New Delhi: Opposition Monday dubbed the Budget as "futile" and "directionless", saying it brought no relief to the common man and nothing has been done to contain inflation.
Trashing it as a "futile exercise", senior BJP leader Anant Kumar said it has no proposals to contain rising prices and offered no succour to the `aam aadmi`. Terming the Budget as "timid", former NDA Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said it is "completely devoid of reforms."
Another BJP leader Rudra Narayan Pany termed it a "clear-cut election Budget" which indicated that the Government could go for mid-term polls.
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said the Budget was "directionless" and did not reflect any seriousness by the Government to address the issue of unemployment or keenness to mop up additional resources and taxing rich people.
"It`s a nominal Budget with no direction. This is a directionless Budget in which no efforts have been made to raise additional resources and taxing rich people. No attempts have been made to increase employment in the Budget. It is a thoughtless exercise," Dasgupta said.
Terming the Budget as insensitive, CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu alleged that a large number of poor people were excluded from subsidies.
"Where is the question of inclusion in this Budget? The government is taking cue from the global finance regime," Basu said.
BJD MP Jay Panda described it as "mixed Budget" but rued that "no steps were taken by the government to contain inflation".
Asked if the Budget was presented with an eye on the forthcoming assembly elections in five states, SP spokesperson Mohan Singh said, "It may be even aimed at the general elections."
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said the Government has not proposed any steps to bring back black money or to fight corruption.
"Even the Rs 25,000 crore given for the anti-Naxal operations does not seem to be adequate," he added.
RJD Chief Lalu Prasad, however, said he was "happy" about the Budget but would be happier if certain bills proposed in it come through. He welcomed Budget proposals for providing cash subsidy in fertilisers, LPG and kerosene directly to the consumers.
A balanced budget: Chidambaram
Terming the Budget as "good" and "balanced", Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said it will promote inclusive growth and the projected increase in revenues will be used for augmenting investment in health, education and security sectors.
"The Finance Minister has focused on high growth; on investing in, incentivising and increasing agricultural production in order to moderate inflation; and on fiscal consolidation," Chidambaram said in a statement released after the Budget presentation by Finance Minister Pranab Mukaherjee.
The Home Minister, who used to hold the portfolio till November 2008, said Mukherjee has used the projected increase in revenues for augmenting investment and for larger outlays on education, health and security.
"We are very happy and I compliment the Finance Minister on presenting a good and balanced budget that will promote inclusive growth," he said.
Welcome increased allocation in education sector: Sibal
Welcoming the increased allocation for education as well as telecom sectors in the Budget, Union Minister Kapil Sibal today that he was happy with the increased budgetary allocation of Rs 52,000 crore for the education sector and around Rs 25,000 crore for the telecommunications sector.
"I am happy with the allocation made for the education sector. The total allocation is about Rs 52,000 crore. I am also happy about the allocation made for telecom sector which is about Rs 25,000 crore," the Union Minister for HRD and Telecom said.
Sibal said the `aam aadmi` is being looked after in the Budget and so many steps are being taken for fiscal consolidation.
With Agency inputs