Opposition leaders came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government's Interim Budget, accusing it of allotting a paltry amount as income support for farmers and keeping silent on unemployment.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday presented the Interim Budget in the absence of Arun Jaitley, who is in the US for medical treatment. He announced Rs 6,000 annual cash support for farmers and provided tax relief for the middle class.
Here is what Opposition leaders had to say about the Interim Budget 2019:
'Rs 17 a day an insult to farmers'
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that Modi government's scheme to provide direct income support of Rs 6,000 per annum was an "insult" to farmers.
Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said:
Dear NoMo,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 1, 2019
5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers.
Giving them Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for. #AakhriJumlaBudget
'Modi govt only understands pakodanomics'
Former finance minister P Chidambaram mocked the Modi government's Interim Budget, saying that it remained silent on jobs and education. "It (Interim Budget) was not a Vote on Account. It was an Account for Votes," he tweeted.
"There is nothing about jobs because if they say anything about jobs the youth will dismiss it as 'pakodanomics'," said Chidambaram.
He said that the government has further weakened fiscal stability and for the second year in succession, the government has missed the fiscal deficit target.
All of the announcements are "last-gasp announcements" by a government whose term will effectively end in about 90 days, Chidambaram said.
Interim Budget 2019 a 'damp squib'
He said that the government had promised a separate Ministry of Fisheries in their 2014 campaign but it backed away from that commitment and instead announced a separate department.
Having promised a separate Ministry of Fisheries in their 2014 campaign, the BJP backs away from that commitment in Parliament & now announces a separate Deartment which will have at best one month to work before th Election Commission’s Code of Conduct kicks in. pic.twitter.com/4QeZgOmOHV— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) February 1, 2019
"There is a lot of fantasy language and castles being constructed in the air. There is very little actually happening in real terms," Tharoor said, according to news agency IANS.
However, he said that the only good thing was the tax exemption for the middle class.
Terming the Budget as 'Jumlaa Bullet Express', Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel sought an explanation from the government on its promise to provide Rs 15 lakh in the account of every citizen.
He said that before proposing to build 100,000 villages, the government should first inform how many smart cities it had built in the past five years.
पहले 2014 के जुमलों का हिसाब दो-— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) February 1, 2019
-हर खाते में आने वाले 15 लाख का क्या हुआ?
-छग में कितनी स्मार्ट सिटी बनी?
-स्वामीनाथन आयोग की रिपोर्ट लागू क्यों नहीं हुई?
-हर साल 2 करोड़ नौकरी का क्या हुआ?
देश के हर वर्ग की हवा उड़ी हुई है और मोदी सरकार 'उरी' पर अटकी हुई है. #Budget2019 2/
'Budget an attempt to apply band-aid'
Telugu Desam Party MP Y S Chowdhury tweeted in Telegu that the Budget was an attempt by the government to apply band-aid over the wounds it had inflicted on the people in the past five years.
He also said that the Budget should have been limited to vote on accounts and no policy decisions should have been announced.
'An attempt to rub salt'
Former Aam Aadmi Party MLA Yogendra Yadav termed the Interim Budget 2019 an "attempt to rub salt in the wound of farmers."
#Budget2019— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) February 1, 2019
'The ₹ 6,000 a year for farmers' announcement basically means that in the next 3 months, Rs.20,000 crores will be spent by the govt in buying farmer votes for the BJP
But people know these schemes are merely to buy votes. These last minute tricks don't work!
'Promised Rs 15 lakh, gave just Rs 500 a month'
Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel tweeted that they promised Rs 15 lakh to farmers but gave only gave Rs 500 a month. After the twin effects of demonetisation and goods and services tax (GST), this Rs 500 is peanuts.
Referring to the recent 10 per cent quota reservation, he said that on one hand, the government terms those earning less than Rs 800,000 economically backward, but the Budget does not say that.
If they were serious they would have introduce exemptions or the middle class in the last budget— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) February 1, 2019
On one hand they say those earning below Rs 8 lakhs are economically backward, but that’s not what their budget says.
No hike in exemption limit from 2.5 Lakh to 5 Lakh only 87A benefit increased. Persons having taxable income more than 5 Lakh no benefit ( it’s another jumla)— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) February 1, 2019
'Jumlebazi cannot change the destiny of the country'
She claimed that the benefits of government schemes failed to reach the needy and only benefitted the capitalists.
'Budget proposals will never get implemented'
Expressing confidence that BJP would fail to return to power in the upcoming polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly said that "the Budget proposals will not be implemented".
She also mentioned that the Budget failed to provide extra funds for MGNREGA and that there had been no increase in fund allocation for rural development programmes. She also said Swachh Bharat Mission received 25 per cent less allocation and the fund allotted for skill development scheme was less.
"This Budget is a farce and (election) manifesto of BJP to cheat people," Banerjee said.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and the Aam Aadmi Party termed the Interim Budget 2020 as the "final jumla" of the Modi government.