Siddaramaiah slams Union budget as "anti-poor"

 Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday slammed the Union Budget as "anti-poor" and "disappointing", saying the Finance Minister had only tried to build castles in the air to win people's appreciation.

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday slammed the Union Budget as "anti-poor" and "disappointing", saying the Finance Minister had only tried to build castles in the air to win people's appreciation.

He also said that signs of recovery in the economy were not because of the Modi Government's initiatives but due to the plummeting crude oil prices in the international market and the improvements were seen in the last year of the UPA rule itself as acknowledged by the Economic Survey report.

"The fall in crude oil prices has helped in reducing imports, thereby improving the economic situation. This also helps in tackling the fiscal deficit. Arun Jaitley has presented the budget in such a favourable atmosphere," he said.

Siddaramaiah said the Finance Minister had not taken advantage of the situation to present a "pro-poor" budget, which has "caused disappointment to me."

The budget contained no specific proposals for farmers, workers, women and the unemployed, he charged, adding that agriculture, rural development and education had been completely neglected.

Siddaramaiah said the increase in allocation for MNREGA was negligible and housing and urban development about which the Modi government had talked much also did not have significant allocations. The middle class had not received any reliefs, he said.

"The budget is totally anti-poor. It is in favour of the haves. The BJP people are good talkers. In line with their trait, Jaitley has tried to create castles in the air to win people's appreciation," he said.

Siddaramaiah, however, welcomed the announcements to set up an IIT in Karnataka and develop Hampi, a world heritage site, saying, he hoped substantial allocations would be made for them.

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