Budget a damp squib, full of rhetoric, says Jayalalithaa

Describing Union Budget as `damp squib` Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaithaa said it was full of rhetoric and lacked any tangible steps to tackle the crisis confronting the country`s economy.

Updated: Feb 28, 2013, 19:42 PM IST

Chennai: Describing the Union Budget as a `damp squib` Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalaithaa on Thursday said it was full of rhetoric and lacked any tangible steps to tackle the crisis confronting the country`s economy.
The exercise was only a "day dream cosmetic budget," of Finance Minister P Chidambaram, she said in a statement here.

"The Union Budget presented in Parliament today has turned out to be an uninspiring damp squib, full of rhetoric, without any tangible steps to tackle the deep crisis confronting the Indian economy today... I would describe it only as a day dream cosmetic budget of Mr P Chidambaram," she said.

The budget only paid lip service to the cause of the common people and did little to correct deeper structural issues.

"The slowdown in economic growth and the sharp rise in inflation in the last two years which have caused so much pain to the people of the country were primarily due to the inept macro-economic management by the UPA Government," she alleged.

Despite the hype about inflation control, no tangible steps toward this had been proposed, she said adding major damage had been inflicted by very deep and harsh cuts in spending in crucial social sectors in the Revised Estimates for 2012-13.

Plan expenditure has been cut from Rs 5,21,025 crore in BE 2012-13 to Rs 4,29,187 crores in RE 2012-13 she said adding these deep cuts `raise a number of unanswered issues.`

"What is to be done where State Governments have already spent substantial sums based on approvals of their Annual Work Plans? They will not receive the due reimbursements in the current fiscal year. The Government of India aims to reach its fiscal deficit target in the current year at the expense of the State Governments," she added.

The `much discussed` Finance Minister’s promise of containing fiscal deficit has been done solely `at the expense of the vital grants` provided to the States and unceremonious cuts in the promised allocations in the Budget 2012-13.

"...I demand that the cuts imposed in the RE 2012-13 be rolled back and full releases on the promised outlays be made," she said.

The "anti-State mentality" of the Centre resonates in every issue which was of vital importance to the states, she said adding as regards GST there was no provision to compensate states in 2012 and the promised sum of Rs 9,000 crores for 2013-14 is `grossly inadequate.`

The measures announced for promotion of exports were very minimal, while many sops have been provided for foreign investment. "This clearly reveals that the UPA Government at the Centre acts more for the foreign investor than for any domestic constituency," she charged.