Budget lacks programmes to revive economy: Cong

The Opposition Congress on Friday criticised the Union Budget for 2019-20, saying it lacks any bold programme to revive the economy.

Resuming the debate on the Budget, Wansuk Syiem (Cong) said the budget had dealt a major blow to people by raising excise duty and cess on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre at a time when international oil rates are stable.

“There was no reason for the government to resort to this,” she said.

“The Budget has no new bold programme for reviving the economy,” she added.

India’s economic growth had slowed to a five-year low of 5.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 calendar year on sluggish manufacturing and agriculture sector.

She said allocation made for the North Eastern region was not enough to meet growing challenges of building massive infrastructure of rail and road highways and creating job opportunities for the youth who otherwise may go astray.

Ronald Sapa Tlau (Cong) said allocation for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) – which is the heart of north-east development, has shrunk to the lowest level of Rs 1,047 crore since the Modi government came to power in 2014.

Also, the autonomy of North Eastern Council (NEC) has been shaken and more budget needs to be provided.

Union Minister and RPI-A leader Ramdas Athawale said budgetary allocation for tribal department has been hiked by 43.6 per cent to Rs 81,374 crore and the government is working to eradicate poverty from the country.

And based on the good work that the government is doing, it will be voted back to power in 2024, he said.

Sonal Mansingh (Nominated) said the government should think of giving the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee-like job guarantee for artists as they don’t get work throughout the year.

Kailash Soni (BJP) demanded a direct train between Sagar in Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur in Maharashtra via Chhindwara.

Also, every train should have general compartments, he said.

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