‘Budget, a tower of hope with colourful words’

The Congress-JD(S) coalition has slammed the Union Budget that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented on Friday, which leaders from both parties termed “unimpressive, disappointing and worst.”

“They’re only building a tower of hopes and the use of colourful words will not help the nation develop,” Coalition Coordination Committee chairperson Siddaramaiah, who has presented a record 13 state budgets, told reporters. 

Doubting the feasibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India a $5 trillion dollar economy, Siddaramaiah pointed out that the GDP growth had fallen in the last four years. 

“Five years ago, they promised doubling farmers’ income. This has been proved false. This isn’t a farmer-friendly budget, because I don’t see anything in it to bring farmers out of their dismal condition,” he said.

Siddaramaiah decried hiking fuel prices. “Once petrol and diesel prices go up, it results in the prices of other commodities going up, hitting the common man,” he said. 

The budget offered nothing to create jobs, he observed, and Siddaramaiah was not impressed with what it had to offer on the irrigation front. “Irrigation is key for agriculture. But, they’ve spent only about Rs 433 crore on irrigation in the last four years. That’s very less,” he said. 

He further expressed disappointment that Nirmala, being a woman, offered little in the budget for women to cheer.

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said he had not seen a budget “worse than this” in his life. Dubbing it a “directionless” budget, Parameshwara said it had nothing for Karnataka.

“The budget quotes Basavanna, but his state has received nothing. Not a single project. We had asked for suburban rail, and there’s no mention of it,” he said, adding that the budget had faltered on education, industry and had no clarity on foreign direct investment. 

Newly appointed JD(S) state president H K Kumaraswamy said the budget was “anti-people and anti-farmers.” He said there was nothing in the budget to help the common man.

“And for Karnataka, which voted hugely for the BJP, has got nothing,” he said.

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