• Budget 2022-23 is only for corporates & not for the poor and farmers: Opposition in Rajya Sabha

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      Digital Desk: On Wednesday, the opposition members criticizing the Budget 2022-23 in the Rajya Sabha stated that it doesn't include anything for the poor and farmers and is geared to enrich the country's top corporates. In reply, the BJP responded, claiming that the Budget focuses on job-oriented growth and is far superior to any Budget given by Congress Leader P Chidambaram during the previous UPA government. On Wednesday, a day after Chidambaram launched the Opposition's Budget debate, his party colleague Kapil Sibal said the government was not considering ground realities. "Digital, green, climate, Atmanirbhar, made in India, capital expenditure, ease of doing business, tax avenues, GST collection, futuristic economy driven by technology, clean fuel, smart cities." Sibal claimed he was drawn in by the FM's speech. However, he said that issues like unemployment, poverty, food security, informal sector, migrants, daily wagers, health for all, welfare, social protection, women, and young are missing in the Budget 2022-23. Further, slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for calling the Congress party "Tukde Tukde Gang, he said that "tukde tukde of civilization, history, Constitution, brotherhood" are the leaders of the Tukde Tukde Gang. According to Sibal, the BJP talks about 'Amrit Kaal,' but all he sees is "Rahoo Kaal." He claimed that while the Budget focuses on infrastructure, it does not provide relief to the sector that has lost the most jobs - 9.8 million jobs in manufacturing, hotel and tourism, which has lost 5 million jobs, and education, which has lost 4 million jobs.   He claims that India has a higher unemployment rate than Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. He also added that the government's health spending, at US$172 per capita, was among the lowest in the world. CPI leader, Binoy Viswam, tagging that the Budget is a "disaster," said it was designed to benefit mainly "large corporate houses like Tata, Birla, Ambani, and Adani." He added that with lower allocation and slashed subsidies, the Budget was not for the poor but for the rich at the top and that it did not benefit farmers, women, or the health sector. "With a heavy heart, I must remind the Finance Minister that a 90-minute (Budget) speech has left 90 crores Indians out of a Budget. This so-called progressive Budget has alienated the majority of the poor." TRS member K R Suresh Reddy said. DMK leader M Mohamed Abdulla highlighting the subject of cryptocurrency; he said it is unprecedented to tax something that is illegal in the country. "The government imposed a 30% tax on cryptocurrencies, yet cryptocurrency is unlawful in the country, and we can only tax legal things. So is cryptocurrency legal because of the taxation?" he said. According to RJD's A D Singh, the administration is merely paying lip service to make India self-sufficient. In response to the opposition's assertions, BJP leader Sushil Modi stated that "jobs, jobs, jobs" were the topic of every page of the Budget. He described it as "employment-oriented" and emphasized "development through job creation. He further said that "It was 100 times better than any Budget Chidambaram gave as Finance Minister. The BJP leader said that India will spend Rs 20 lakh crore on capital spending through 2023. Describing it as the largest ever, he claimed that capital expenditure has a "multiplier impact," whereas an increase in revenue expenditure adds only Rs 98 to the GDP, an increase in capital expenditure adds Rs 245 to the economy in the first year and Rs 480 in future years. Amar Patnaik of the BJD said the government has concentrated its Budget on capital investment, which is "wonderful," but "that is what it has done for the past three years, so has it worked?" In addition, he claimed that the government's allocation for welfare sectors was insufficient, with health spending falling short of that of the BRIC countries. "Unless the Swaminathan report is followed, farmers' income will not double, and price support schemes will be reduced by 62 percent." There's also the issue of federal equity and inequity, which is on the rise." He said. M Thambidurai of the AIADMK, who voted in favour of the Budget, said his party appreciated the government's efforts to defend the country's economy and interests during the pandemic. "States are not getting enough funds following the adoption of GST," he remarked, noting that there has been poor growth not just in India but around the world. Therefore, more funding and arrears should be provided by the centre." Notably, several MPs took part in the debate, which will continue on Thursday (February 10).

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