Hyderabad: Describing the Union Budget for 2017-18 as anti-people and anti-farmer, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that there was nothing new in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget speech.
“This budget has failed to provide any healing touch to the grievously injured demonitisation-hit economy. The Finance Minister made no mention of impact of demonitisation on various sectors and offered no compensations to either farmers, small and medium traders and businessman or even those who lost their livelihood since November 8, 2016.
Telangana was among the worst-hit States and Arun Jaitley did not make any specific reference on how the States would be compensated for the losses that they incurred due to Centre’s ill-conceived note ban decision,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said.
By stating that “The effects of demonetisation are not expected to spill over into the next year,” the Finance Minister himself has predicted that the effect of demonitisation would not end soon.
The TPCC Chief said that the union budget has miserably failed to address the concerns of farmers. He said it was highly shocking that not a single new scheme was announced to help the farmers.
The Finance Minister only listed out various schemes which were launched earlier and made references which are primarily advisory in nature. Referring to Centre fixing the target for Agricultural Credit in 2017-18 at Rs. 10 lakh Crore, he said mere fixation of targets does not help the farmers.
For instance, he said that banks could not reach even 60 % of the target set for Rabi season. In Telangana alone, as against the target of Rs. 13,000 Crore, crop loans of just Rs. 7,500 crore were disbursed among farmers.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that farmers were badly hit due to demonisation decision and therefore, the Centre should have come up with a crop loan waiver scheme. Further, the budget has failed give an assurance to farmers on hike in Minimum Support Price for their produce or assured effective procurement of agricultural products.
The TPCC chief said that the Finance Minister, in his budget speech, offered nothing for Telangana State. He said none of the assurances given to Telangana under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act at the time of bifurcation were fulfilled and the new State would not get any substantial funds during the year 2017-18.
He also blamed the TRS for its failure to pressurise the Centre in getting some sops for the State. “Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao blindly supported Modi Government on demonitisation issue. He acted like his spokesperson and Brand Ambassador.
But the Chief Minister miserably failed in getting a good financial package for Telangana in Union Budget,” he alleged.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the merger of Union Budget with Railway Budget was not historic, but it might prove to be disastrous. In his two-hour long speech, he made a casual mention about Railway for less than three minutes and no financial commitment was given to strengthen railway infrastructure.
“Lot of railway projects in Telangana have been pending for the last three years and there is no mention in the union budget as to when they would be completed,” he said.
Overall, the TPCC chief said the Arun Jaitely’s budget speech was full of rhetoric and it failed to meet the expectations of common man who was subjected to pain and agony through useless demonitisation drive.
He described the cut in individual income tax rates for Rs. 2.5-5 lakh slab from 10% to 5% as mere eye-wash and said a majority of people who were hit due to demonitisation were poor and out of tax purview. (INN)