Dubbing the General Budget as “hopeless”, Trinamool Congress today said it does not offer any solution to the economic problems and particularly hurts the middle class by making the unprecedented proposal of taxing the PF corpus at the time of withdrawal.
The party said it is “considering opposing” the proposal for taxing the PF corpus in Parliament.
“This budget is not constructive, nor is it creative. It is stereotype and routine. We are left with no option, but to call it a hopeless budget,” TMC, which rules West Bengal, said in a statement here.
Party leader Derek O’Brien took objection specifically to the proposal to tax the PF corpus.
“It is hopeless also for middle class. 60 per cent of PF corpus created by employees after April 1,2016 will be taxed when he/she withdraws money. Younger the employee, worse off he/she would be. This has never happened in the history of India. Retirement benefit bruised in a country where virtually no social safety net exists,” O’Brien said.
“TMC is considering opposing it...This is something the government must seriously look at,” he said.
The party headed by Mamata Banerjee said the budget does not offer any hope for the farmers, downtrodden or even for industry.
“There is no hope for industry, no hope for the farmers, no hope for the poor, no hope for the middle class, no hope even for the Sensex,” TMC said, adding “no major tax reforms to benefit the middle class. Lots of big words. No real big solutions.”
Taking on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, TMC said “The FM made an attempt to emphasize on social sector schemes. But the reality is different. Almost 40 social sector schemes have been stopped and states have been burdened for funding new schemes.”
While giving an example of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sevak Yojana, TMC said “Instead of the Centre, which is now funding 100 per cent, it will only fund 60 per cent and the states have to bear 40 per cent. So in West Bengal where Rs 3000 crore was spent, the state would now have to shoulder a burden of Rs 1200 crore. Is this cooperative federalism?”
The TMC was also critical of the FDI policy. “We believe in total transparency. Why has the FM not mentioned the details of the changes in the FDI policy in his budget speech? It is shrouded in an annexure and opens up 100 per cent FDI in many sectors. Why can’t the government be transparent?,” it asked.