The Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1 came in for sharp criticism by the opposition, which called it "disappointing and directionless", even as the ruling BJP defended it, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi has delivered on the promise of curbing black money and ushering in transparency in political funding.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the budget lacked a "clear vision" and had nothing for farmers, youth and job creation, while West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee dubbed it as "clueless, useless and heartless". She also wanted to know why no data was given on demonetisation.
Left parties termed the budged as "contractionary" and a "complete gimmick", alleging that figures given by the Finance Minister did not match the reality.
Opposition parties also accused the Modi government of preparing the budget proposals keeping in mind the Assembly polls in five states.
"We were expecting fireworks. Instead, it was a damp squib. It is just 'sher-o shayari' in the budget. There is nothing for farmers and youth, and nothing for job creation. There is no clear vision," Rahul Gandhi said after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the budget in Lok Sabha.
However, BJP President Amit Shah, however, said Modi had fulfilled the promise made in 2014 to check black money and bring transparency in political funding with the budget proposing limiting cash funding to political parties from a single source at Rs 2,000.
"We had promised in 2014 to root out influence of black money in political funding and bring in transparency. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has today fulfilled that promise.
Several ministers and BJP leaders hailed the budget as "inspiring" and "transformational", contending that it will give a strong push to infrastructure sector, bring about electoral reforms and benefit the farmers, poor and the middle class.
They also lauded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for offering "many" concessions to honest tax payers coming down on those evading taxes and fleeing the country.
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(With inputs from PTI)
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