NEW DELHI: Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday called Modi government's budget defeatist and said there was nothing in it to boost private investment.
"Farm sector stress will continue. Medical health care is a big jumla. Nothing in the budget to boost private investment. No tax relief to the average tax payer. Is the FM serious?," Chidambaram said.
"I did not hear any measure to boost exports, as the Govt has run out of ideas. FM has imposed additional custom duties to restrict imports. The PM's speech at and the spirit of Davos has been forgotten within a few days," the former FM added.
The Narendra Modi government today unveiled its Budget for the fiscal year starting April 1, in what is being seen as a test for PM Modi to maintain fiscal discipline without stifling economic growth ahead of general elections next year.
The Union Budget 2018 was tabled by FM Arun Jaitley. This is the last full Budget of the ruling Modi government. With Lok Sabha elections scheduled for the summer of 2019, what Jaitley will present next year would be a vote-on-account.
The Budget Session of Parliament is scheduled to pan out in two spells. The first spell of the session will end on February 9. Parliament will then convene again between March 5 and April 6, when the finance bill will be finalised.