New Delhi: Trinamool Congress on Friday gave
some respite to the UPA by describing as "tolerable" the
Union Budget 2012-13 which came under scathing attack from
both the left and the right.
As the Opposition dubbed the third exercise of Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee in UPA-11 as "anti-people", "very
retrogade", warning it would lead to a price spiral, Mamata
Banerjee`s party offered solace saying it was "not on a
confrontaniost mode" on the Budget.
Both the Left and the right predicted that the Budget
proposals would "lead to indebtedness".
Former finance Minister of BJP Yashwant Sinha saw no big
picture behind the Budgetary exercise nor worthwhile mention
of the economic reforms.
The Budget "fails to lift the sentiment of the economy",
he said, adding, "it was an accounting statement but not a
policy-enhancing document. The Budget has just tinkered with
schemes and programmes."
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said the Budget was very
retrogade and will further widen the divide between the
rich and the poor.
He said the concessions given to the corporate sector
will go beyond the fiscal deficit. The SP and the BSP were
also critical of the exercise with Mayawati`s party saying it
was an "urban-oriented" budget while Mulayam Singh Yadav`s
party terming it as "disappointing".
BJD leader Jay Panda described the proposals announced by
Finance Minister pranab Mukherjee as "lack-lustre", saying it
provides little comfort to the people.
The Trinamool Congress brought the political temparatrue
down for the government which was on tenterhooks after the
controversy over Railway budget with its leader Sudip
Bandopadhyay saying the general budget was "tolerable".
The TMC is the second largest constituent in UPA with its
19 MPs and is the most troublesome ally of the Congress.
Bandopadhyay, however, wanted that the government
should ensure the prices of fertiliser and kerosene are not
allowed to be raised due to any de-control.
The Trinamool Congress, he said, will coordinate with MPs
from Kerala and Punjab in Parliament to seek moratorium for
three years on the debt to states noting that West Bengal was
paying Rs 22,000 crores on loan repayment.
Another Trinamool party leader and Union Minister Sultan
Ahmed said the exercice was a "Na Khushi Na Gum" (neither
happy or sad about it).
BJP`s Ravi Shankar Prasad derided the Union Budget as a
"status-quoist" exercise which offered no big vision for
growth at a time when Indian capital is going out.
Party vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was more caustic
as he said that "Pranabda`s budget presented amidst revolt
from (Mamata) Didi, will herald the farewell of the UPA
RSP`s Prashant Majumdar termed the Budget as
"directionless and most disappointing" which would lead to
For Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, it was a "good" budget.
Home Minister P Chidambaram, said, "we should commend the
Finance Minister for deftly traversing through a very
difficult year and laying the foundation for the future."
Defence Minister AK Antony said though he had expected
more for his ministry, it is a good budget.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal described the Budget as
"balanced, thoughtful and forward looking".