West Bengal CM: Union Budget Prepared with 2024 Lok Sabha Elections in Mind

CM Mamata Banerjee

On Wednesday, CM Mamata Banerjee denounced the Union Budget 2023-24 as “anti-people” and “totally unscrupulous,” arguing that it was designed to help the ruling party win the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday. A significant move was the increase in the income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh under the new tax regime, which is now the default tax regime. The Budget also focused on innovation in agriculture, technology, and tourism. To further support these sectors, the government has increased the capital investment outlay by 33 percent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which amounts to 3.3 percent of the GDP.

Politicians of all stripes enthusiastically greeted the recently-declared tax discounts in the Union Budget 2023-24. Yet, some opposition figures reprimanded the Centre for not adequately tackling unemployment and inflation in the country.

Jairam Ramesh, a Congress party leader, accused the Narendra Modi government of using a strategy called “Over Promise, Under Deliver” (OPUD) concerning the Union Budget 2023. He stated that the budget for last year had allocated funds for various sectors such as agriculture, health, education, MGNREGA, and the welfare of Scheduled Castes, but the actual expenditure was much lower.

Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, expressed his discontent over the Union Budget, accusing it of providing “step-motherly” treatment to Delhi. He highlighted the difference between the amount of taxes paid by the people of Delhi, which is 1.75 lakh crore rupees, and the amount allocated to the city for its development, which is only 325 crore rupees. He deemed this disparity “completely unjustified.”

On the other hand, Union Minister Smriti Irani called the budget a “middle-class bonanza budget” and said there was something in that for everybody. “This is a middle-class bonanza budget, but PM has spoken about inclusive growth. So, this has been an inclusive budget. There was something for SC, ST, OBC, women, and the elderly,” she said.

Mayawati, the leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), asserted that it is essential for the government to consider the needs of the entire nation – not just a particular political party – when creating the budget. She called for the budget to focus on the country’s 130 crores of poor, laborers, deprived, and farmers longing for a better life. She urged the Centre to remember this when discussing the number of beneficiaries of their schemes.


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