Budget 'mere rhetoric' without any vision: Opposition

Budget 'mere rhetoric' without any vision: Opposition

Opposition today dubbed as "mere rhetoric" projection of the budget as pro-poor and said government will not be able to "fool" farmers with "hollow promises".

Predictably, BJP hailed the budget calling its measures for rural India "historic". In a sharp attack on the government, Congress said it has "failed to create an immediate stimulus" to address economic challenges including employment generation with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holding that it lacked any "big idea".

Asserting that the budget was short of both "vision and conviction", party Vice President Rahul Gandhi said a list of new promises have been made without any account of the "failure of tall promises made in last two budgets".

"Modiji spent the first two years mocking the Congress Party's focus on farmers, MNREGA, Rural dev & social spending. Now mere rhetoric, without vision or action, will fool neither farmers nor the poor of this country," Gandhi tweeted.

He, however, thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for accepting his recommendation on removing import duty on Braille paper which will help the visually impaired.

Criticising the budget, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said it was full of "hollow promises" and will burden commoners who will feel the pinch of hike in indirect tax."As with the previous two budgets, this budget of the Modi govt is again full of hollow promises and slogans. The numbers just don't add up.

"FM says budget is about fulfilling 'desires & dreams' but it has no vision. The dead certainty from it is of a shrinking economy," Yechury said in a series of tweets.

On his part, BJP chief Amit Shah praised the budget saying its focus on rural India and farmers besides other measures were "historic". Shah asserted that this is the first budget since Independence that has focused so much on "villages, farmers and poor".

"The thrust of the budget is towards strengthening rural and agriculture sectors and boosting employment-generation.... There is a lot of focus on agriculture. There is a proposal to double farmers' income by 2022," Shah told reporters.

He cited the allocation of Rs 2.70 lakh crore to local bodies, decision to electrify all villages by May 01, 2018 and allocation of over Rs 19,000 crore for Pradham Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna to emphasise the focus on rural India.

National Conference leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah tweeted "By not focusing the benefits of #UnionBudget2016 on the #suitboot people @arunjaitley has cleverly made the opposition's job a bit tougher."

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