New Delhi [India]: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday slammed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s interim budget speech and said that not ‘very much came out of it’ and that she used ‘vague’ and ‘rhetorical language.’
‘It was one of the shortest speeches on record in the Budget. Not very much came out of it. As usual, a lot of rhetorical language, very little concrete implementation… She talked about foreign investment without acknowledging that that investment has come down significantly,’ Tharoor told media on Thursday.
The MP from Thiruvananthapuram said that the Finance Minister ‘talked about a number of things couched in vague language, like ‘confidence’ and ‘hope’ and so on.’
‘But when it comes to hard figures, very few figures available…This is going to be a very disappointing speech in terms of being couched entirely in generalities and without enough substance nor any willingness to address the specific problems of the economy,’ Tharoor added.
Congress MP Manish Tewari responded sharply to Sitharaman’s presentation of the Interim Budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, terming it a vote-on-account, whose only goal is to keep the government solvent for the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Tewari told media, ‘It is a ‘vote-on-account’ which has only one purpose to keep the government solvent for the first quarter of the current fiscal year.’
The Congress leader also expressed concern about the high budget deficit and said, ‘What’s worrying is that there is a budget deficit of Rs 18 lakh crore. This means that the government is borrowing for its expenditure. This number is only going to increase next year.’
Congress’ Sachin Pilot said, the Finance Minister’s speech sounded like an election speech and that President’s address was also used as political speech.’
The party’s National Spokesperson, Supriya Shrinate said, ‘The government is still in denial mode and is not ready to accept the problems. There is nothing in this budget for common people, employment, agriculture, women… Nirmala Sitharaman said that income has increased by 50 per cent but government data says that real income has decreased by 25 per cent…’
Aam Aadmi Party MP Sushil Kumar Rinku said, ‘The youth, Dalit and people of the backward class had hopes that the budget will talk about them…BJP will have to face great loss in the 2024 elections due to this budget…’
DMK MP T Siva said, ‘They are waiting for the next full Budget, which we will come and present. INDIA alliance will win and we will present the best budget after the net elections.’
The Shiv Sena (UBT) said that the budget has ‘poured cold water’ on the expectations of the general public.
Party MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, ‘There is a huge difference between saying and doing, this is what we have been seeing for the last 10 years… There is nothing in it for the poor, women and youth. This budget has poured cold water on the expectations of the general public…’
Budget deficit typically refers to the situation when a government’s total expenditures exceed its total revenues during a specific period, say a financial year. It indicates that the government is spending more money than it is earning through various sources.
Sitharaman, in her speech included key subjects on inclusive development, infrastructure, green growth, youth power, financial sector.
She said that the government proposes to increase capital expenditure outlay by 11.1 per cent to Rs 11.11 lakh crore in 2024-25.