Budget 2017 a "lollipop" to nation for covering Centre's mess: Congress

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 02(ANI): Asserting that the Budget 2017 had completely ignored the lower strata of the economy, the Congress on Thursday tore into the Centre stating it had presented the Budget as an antidote to demonetisation and a 'lollipop' to appease the middle class tax-paying community. "The budget was presented only to cover up the ruckus caused by demonetisation across the nation, apart from that, there has been an effort to appease just one section of the society, that lower middle class and upper middle class, main vote bank of BJP," Congress Leader Meem Afzal told ANI. Remarking on the tax waiver, he said that only the taxpayers are to be benefitted of this move that comprise only a limited section of the society. "Where does this budget take into account a man from rural sector, who works as a labourer, in farms etc? You have given taxpayers the benefit of 12,000-12,500 rupees, but the 70 80 percent section of the society, whose income varies from 20oo to 25 000, what has government given them, do they get 1250 rupees? No", he added Branding demonetisation as a fundamental failure the Congress leader further said, "the massive drive against black money you initiated, with tall claims of getting 15-15 lakhs in the multiple free bank accounts, you opened across the country, has that person received even 15 rupees of the retrieved black money? No. And you say the budget is good." Emphasising that there could not possibly be a worse Budget, Afzal added that whatever little popularity Prime Minister Narendra Modi had amongst the poor, has been killed by this Budget, which was filled with "empty, fancy promises". The Congress leader further criticised several other promises made in the budget, like the one lakh crores for railway security and asked "where will the Railway get so much money from now?" Lashing out strongly against the increased 10 lakh credit limit, Afzal stated that instead of redeeming the common man from his loans, the Centre was further encouraging him to take more loans, paving the path for their doom. The Congress leader maintained that this Budget is no more than a lollipop offered to the masses in exchanged for "spilt milk", and a desperate attempt to stand strong for the state Assembly elections across five states. Earlier, Jaitley presented the General Budget proposals for 2017-18 in Parliament and said the major thrust of his fourth budget is on stimulating growth, relief to middle class, affordable housing, curbing black money, promoting digital economy, transparency of political funding and simplification of tax administration. The Budget has evoked diverse reactions from nation across with most of the BJP-opposing parties criticising it for the absence of any breakthrough schemes facilitating compensation for the cash shortage in the country due to demonetisation. (ANI)