Opposition slams Budget; `tolerable` says TMC
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Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2012, 17:53
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 government."

RSP's Prashant Majumdar termed the Budget as "directionless and most disappointing" which would lead to inflation.

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".


First Published: Friday, March 16, 2012, 13:42

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