KOLKATA — West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday described the Union Budget 2023-24 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as “visionless” as it lacks any direction towards employment generation.
“Whatever is in this visionless budget is darkness of the new moon,” she said at a state government programme in Birbhum district.
According to Banerjee, the budget has given no direction towards generation of new employment. “So, in a way this budget has nothing to offer for the unemployed youth of the country. Rather on the contrary a drastic cut in budgetary allocation for 100-day jobs has been proposed in the budget proposals. As it is, the Union government is not paying the dues to the state government under the MGNREGA scheme. Now above that this cut in the budgetary allocation will make the lives of rural poor even more miserable,” she said.
The Chief Minister also said that although the Union Finance Minister has claimed that the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana has achieved remarkable success by mobilising rural women into 81 lakh self-help groups, the actual credit for this progress lies with the West Bengal government.
“When we came to power in West Bengal, the total number of SHGs in the state was just 1 lakh. In the last 11 years the number has increased to 11 lakhs. So, the actual credit goes to West Bengal. The Union government has actually deprived the SHGs by refusing them credit linkages,” she said.
According to her, the budget proposals that the Union Finance Minister has started is just a half-an-hour announcement for her. “The ideal budget proposals are those which show the way for easing inflation and thus provide relief to poor and common people,” she said.
Trinamool Congress’s Rajya Sabha member and former bureaucrat, Jawhar Sircar has questioned the justification of the reduction in the surcharge of those in the highest tax bracket. “There is no reason for giving further exemptions to the super rich,” he said. — IANS