Former Union finance minister and disgruntled BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Thursday termed the budget ‘jugglery of numbers’ and said the government lost an opportunity to provide relief to the poor and the middle class.
Sinha, who was in Narsingpur to participate in a farmers’ agitation, told reporters the budget had no schemes for the welfare of farmers.
It was expected that an election-year budget would bring good news for agriculture and the rural sector, but the one presented by Arun Jaitley on Thursday was disappointing, he said.
Sinha, who has publicly criticised the PM Modi government’s economic policies and style of functioning on a number of occasions, said: “The government lost an opportunity to provide relief to the poor and the middle class.”
Though the budget talks about providing 1.5 times the production cost as minimum support price (MSP) for Rabi crops, it provided no deadline and no allocation was made, he pointed out.
Terming the budget “jugglery of numbers”, Sinha said the government was simply practising financial engineering.
The BJP veteran, who on Tuesday launched a political action group Rashtra Manch to take on the Centre, said the finance minister did not make it clear what the country achieved from demonetisation.
Every section of society is facing problems due to the rising prices of petrol and diesel, the main reason for inflation, he said.
On the health protection scheme announced in the budget, the former Union minister said the government did not spell out how it would be funded and implemented.
Instead of the common man, big companies have got tax exemptions, he noted.
Earlier, Sinha submitted a memorandum to the Narsinghpur district collector, supporting local farmers who protested against the NTPC for not fulfilling the promises made while acquiring land for its 1,600 MW Gadarwara power project.