Attacking the Center over the Union Budget 2023-24, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that the government has made an anti-poor and non-futuristic budget.
"It is an anti-poor budget and not futuristic. It is a total opportunistic budget. Amid skyrocketing inflation, what is the benefit of exempting income tax? There is no proposal for the unemployed people in the budget," Banerjee said.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday, unveiling one of its biggest jumps in capital spending in the past decade and said the fiscal deficit would fall next year.
Notably, this was the last full-fledged Budget of the Modi government in its second term as the country is scheduled to have the next Lok Sabha elections in April-May 2024.
During her nearly one-and-a-half-hour-long speech, the Finance Minister announced that the government proposes to increase capital expenditure outlay by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore in 2023-24, which would be 3.3 per cent of the GDP.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced an increase in the income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh stating that the new tax regime will now be the default tax regime.
The Finance Minister also proposed to change the tax structure in this regime by reducing the number of tax slabs to 5 and increasing the tax exemption limit to Rs 3 lakh.
On personal income tax, the FM announced that "Tax for income of Rs 0-Rs 3 lakh is nil, for income above Rs 3 lakh and up to Rs 5 lakh will be taxed at 5 per cent, for income of above Rs 6 lakh and up to Rs 9 lakh will be taxed at 10 per cent and for income above Rs 12 lakh and up to Rs 15 lakh to be taxed at 20 per cent and above 15 lakhs at Rs 30 per cent."
Meanwhile, opposition parties criticized the Union Budget.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said that the Budget 2023 was prepared keeping an eye on the upcoming Assembly elections adding that it has nothing to offer for the poor people of the country.
He further said that the ruling government has failed to control inflation and the budget is not for common people.
Speaking to ANI, the Congress President said that no steps have been taken for jobs, to fill government vacancies and MNREGA.
"The budget was presented by the Modi government keeping in view the upcoming Assembly polls in three-four states. This was an election speech and they had prepared that 15 days ago. There is nothing in the budget for poor people and to control inflation. No steps for jobs, to fill government vacancies and MNREGA," said Kharge on Union Budget 2023.
Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday took a veiled jibe at the Centre for its Union Budget presented in the Parliament and said that it should be for the country instead of being for a party.
Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said that the presented budget has been very much similar to the ones presented in the last nine years with huge promises and announcements being showered on the common citizens.
"All the promises, announcements, claims and expectations showered by the Centre in its budget during the last nine years became meaningless [bemani] when the middle-class section of India became lower middle class due to inflation, poverty, and unemployment," she said mentioning that the Union Budget 2023 has not been any different.
Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal launched an attack on the Centre over the Union Budget and said the government is not addressing the serious economic conditions in the country including the common man's plight.
While talking to ANI, the Congress General Secretary said, "The government is not addressing the serious concerns of the country's economic condition and the common man's plight. This is my first reaction."
Stating that people are in a distressed mood in the country, he said, "The actual problem is whether the Budget is addressing the current economic issues including price rise, and unemployment. There is no income for the people. How can they benefit by increasing the tax limit?" (ANI)