Kolkata: Describing the Budget 2018-19 presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as a “big bluff” and “anti-people”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she found it “very disappointing”.
“The BJP led government in Delhi is unfit to govern. It is a budget which is neither here, nor there. There is nothing new,” she told reporters here.
Questioning the proposals for farmers mentioned in the budget, Banerjee said “There is no mechanism. Has any fund been allotted for farmers? No. “This budget is a big bluff, a super flop. It is anti-people. I personally found it very disappointing.” Banerjee said even the allotments for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been increased by a meagre one per cent.
On Jaitley’s proposal to increase cess on income of individuals, from three to four per cent, she said: “I feel ashamed at the way the educated class has been overburdened in the name of education.”
The Chief Minister also asked why the budget was silent on economic measures like increase in petrol and diesel prices, demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax. “There is nothing in the budget for providing employment, or for th e unorganised, MSME sectors and middle classes. All are suffering,” she claimed.
Banerjee said there was expectation that some sops will be announced to appease the common people, “but even that also they couldn’t”. Ridiculing the proposals on health insurance, she said her state has better schemes. “We provide free health services. For the priva te sector also, we have an insurance called ‘Swasthya Sathi’.”
Banerjee claimed no announcement has been made on the centre’s girl child education programme “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao”. She also pointed out that the allocation for minorities has been sharply reduced from Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 1,000 crore.