New Delhi: Calling the interim budget a “pre-poll declaration” by the Congress, Left parties on Monday said the government had not taken any step to check the impact of the global recession on the Indian economy by increasing public expenditure.
While CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the interim budget was nothing but a “perorative” (lengthy and pompous) document and government had in fact lowered the expenditure on major social structure schemes, CPI leaders Gurudas Dasgupta and D Raja called it a “lollipop” budget meant for the coming elections.
Comparing the 2008-09 budget allocations with this year’s figures, Yechury said the funds earmarked for rural employment guarantee scheme declined by Rs6,650 crore, food subsidy by Rs1,328 crore, rural development by Rs5,176 crore and Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission by Rs1,735 crore.
Instead of increasing public expenditure in these and infrastructural sectors, the government has in fact slashed spending on them, which would not only lead to lower purchasing power of the commoners but further increase job losses, he said.
Raja said the budget “painted a rosy picture of the Indian economy and government’s performance which was not at all true in terms of ground realities and non-fulfilment of promises made by the UPA in the Common Minimum Programme.”