No relief for common man in Budget: BJP

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley maintained that every budget should have "a big idea" but voiced disappointment that FM Pranab Mukherjee had only gone through a "routine packaging exercise".

New Delhi: Terming the budget for 2011-12
as "unimaginative and visionless", the BJP on Monday lamented that
it had nothing to bring relief to the common man reeling under
spiralling inflation.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley
maintained that every budget should have "a big idea" but
voiced disappointment that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
had only gone through a "routine packaging exercise".

"On the taxation front, Mukherjee knew that once the
Direct Tax Code comes into effect the exemption limit would be
made uniform at Rs 2 lakh so he has given a rebate of Rs
20,000 by raising tax exemption to Rs 1.8 Lakh", he said.

He rued that nothing had been announced to improve
infrastructure like ports and highways.

"I am disappointed over the directionless union budget
which has failed to provide any relief to the common man
reeling under severe inflation and sky-rocketing prices of all
essential commodities", party president Nitin Gadkari said.

He maintained that the budget was devoid of any
"concrete and effective policy guidelines" to generate
employment.

"The Finance Minister has left it to the RBI to curb
inflation and bail out the country from the mess created by
the UPA governments bad governance & wrong economic
policies", Gadkari said.

Jaitley claimed that Mukherjee seemed to be going for
the "art of the possible" by implementing DTC and dealing with
Goods and Services Tax, Banking and Insurance in the next
couple of years.

"The government would lose around Rs 11,000 crore
revenue due to the Rs 300 crore allocations done for several
new initiatives. This would be made by from the services
sector where taxes have been increased", Jaitley said.

On inflation, Jaitley said the government had not done
enough to handle the supply side.

"There is no big picture or political leadership visible
in this budget", he said.

He claimed that the growth rate of 8.6 per cent was
"illusionary".]

"The services sector, where the government has little
say, has grown by more than 6 per cent while the manufacturing
sector had dipped. The agriculture sector had suffered the
year before last and so the base had dipped which makes the
growth figure of 5.4 per cent look high", Jaitley said.

BJP insisted that had it not started a campaign against
anomalies in 2-G Spectrum allocation, the government would not
have gone for auction in 3-G which fetched a revenue of Rs
67,000 crore. "This has brought down the fiscal deficit to
some extent", a BJP leader said.

The increase in remuneration for anganwadi workers did
not impress the BJP which described it as "drops in the ocean"
and maintained they should be given full salaries.

Jaitley said the government had given a "heartless
budget" as it levied taxes on hospitals. He lamented that the
government had done nothing for the tourism sector which has
the potential to provide big revenue as well as employment.

He suggested that government should have done away with
ad valorem tax- taxation at each stage- on petroleum and
instead gone for a fixed rate.

PTI

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