Delhi: India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the 2023 Union Budget in the Parliament on Wednesday. This was the last full budget before the 2024 General Elections and state polls in states such as Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.
However the opposition has reacted both positively and negatively on the newly announced budget. While some leaders hailed the new budget and welcomed the schemes brought forward for the betterment of citizens, others criticised the budget saying it was biased for the capitalists and had no solution to issues such as price-rise, inflation, unemployment, etc.
Congress MP & senior party leader Shashi Tharoor said, "There are some good things in Union Budget 2023 but there was no mention of MNREGA, poor rural labour, employment & inflation. Some fundamental questions remained to be answered."
"There is nothing in Budget 2023. It is like ‘Sapno Ka Saudagar’ - nothing comes true when you wake up after a dream. Also, nothing was mentioned about how to control inflation and unemployment," said Rajiv Ranjan, JD(U) MP.
Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said, "Focus was made on technology, health sector, sickle cell and its need for treatment. Development of ICMR labs & new tech has also been focused upon. All sectors are taken into consideration in the Union Budget 2023."
"No solution to price-rise, inflation, unemployment. Poor got just words & rhetoric. Budget benefits only the big industrialists. Tax rebate up to Rs 7 Lakhs is insignificant considering the inflation & price-rise, it’s like drop in ocean for middle class," said Gaurav Gogoi, Congress MP.
People's Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti spoke on Union Budget 2023. While criticising it she said, "This Budget is the same that had been coming in for last 8-9 yrs. Taxes increased, money not being spent on welfare schemes & subsidies. Tax being collected for some crony capitalists & big businessmen. Public should benefit from taxes but it's breaking their back."
"Instead of benefitting them (common people), welfare schemes and subsidies are being scrapped. People who had risen above the poverty level have fallen below the poverty level again," she added.
Calling the budget completely biased to capitalists and Gujarat, Congress leader K Suresh said, "Budget 2023 is a pro-corporate budget. All interests of Adani are fulfilled in this budget, but the common man has been ignored. This budget is for Adani, Ambani, Gujarat."
Praising the newly announced budget, Haryana CM ML Khattar said, "It was a revolutionary budget that will give relief to every section of society. New income-tax rates give relief to individuals. The outlay for PM Awaas Yojana has been enhanced by 66% in this budget, I welcome this."
Samajwadi Party MP Dimple Yadav criticised the budget for ignoring farmers,employment, youth and railways. "It's a Budget presented keeping the elections in mind, while some relaxations given to the middle class. Govt hasn't said anything about MSP for farmers, employment & youth. Railways also ignored in this budget. It has been a disappointing budget," said Yadav.
Congress MP and party's senior leader Karti Chidambaram hailed the Budget 2023 for bringing forward low tax regime. "I am a believer in a low tax regime. So, any tax cuts are welcome because giving more money into the hands of the people is the best way to boost the economy," said Chidambaram.
About Union Budget 2023
Notably, this has been the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term, as the country is scheduled to have the next Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024.
The budget session of the Parliament began on Tuesday with the President's address, followed by the tabling of the Economic Survey for 2022-23.
The formal exercise to prepare the annual Budget for the next financial year (2023-24) commenced on October 10.
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