TN budget lacks schemes for growth, says DMK chief

Tamil Nadu budget lacks vision, schemes for growth, says DMK chief

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin. (PTI Photo)

The Opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu on Friday drew parallels between the lengthy budget addresses by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and state deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to allege that the ruling AIADMK was "following" the Central government.

Panneerselvam, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented the incumbent AIADMK government's last full-fledged budget on Friday as the state goes to polls next year.

His budget address, considered one of the lengthiest, went on for about 3 hours and 15 minutes. DMK president M K Stalin, whose party has been charging the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu with 'towing' the Central government line on various issues including the amended Citizenship Act, lashed out at the budget proposals, saying it lacked both vision and schemes for growth.

Referring to Sitharaman's budget address on February 1, Stalin said while it went on for about 159 minutes, that of Panneerselvam stretched for almost 196 minutes.

"This itself is an example that this regime is following the Central BJP government," he told reporters in his first post-budget reaction.

Responding to the budget, Panneerselvam's tenth since the AIADMK came to power in 2011, Stalin said it was a "deficit" one for all.

"It is a deficit budget. There are no adequate (initiatives) for anyone," he said, indicating it had little provisions for all-round benefit.

The fiscal and revenue deficit, besides debts, were only increasing and this was burdening the common man, the state Leader of Opposition said.

"This budget lacks both vision and schemes for growth," Stalin added.

On chief minister K Palaniswami's recent announcement that the Cauvery delta districts, including the rice bowl of Thanjavur, would be categorised as a protected agriculture zone, Stalin wondered if the state government can implement it on its own.

Referring to reports that Palaniswami had sent a letter to the Centre through his cabinet colleague D Jayakumar in this connection, Stalin demanded the contents of the communication be made public by Friday.

"Else, I myself will release the letter," the DMK chief added.

However, his party concurred with the ruling AIADMK on according the said categorisation to the Cauvery delta districts, he said.

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