Home / News / India /  'Whaaat?': At post-budget press conference THIS left Sitharaman amused

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday during the post budget press conference binned Oppositions's criticism of the Union Budget 2023 with a ‘whaaaat?'. 

Here's what happened. 

On Wednesday, Nirmala Sitharaman at the parliament announced the Union Budget 2023. After the budget was presented, the Opposition parties and leaders criticised the budget. 

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said the it was a ‘big announcement and no delivery’ Budget. 

When a reporter pointed out that Opposition parties had said the union Budget 2023 was not good enough, FM Sitharaman said, "Whaaat'?

The reporter had asked Sitharaman, "Opposition parties have been calling this 'nil battey sannata' (good for nothing) budget… they said [it is] not good enough."

To this the finance minister pressed the reporter for specifics, asking for details about the opposition's criticism. "For what reasons (are opposition parties saying this)... if I may know?"

An amused finance minister then quickly moved on from the question.

Sitharaman's Budget speech on Wednesday was marked by the usual thumping of benches by the ruling alliance members, but the loudest cheer was reserved for her announcement of income tax relief, which was welcomed by "Modi, Modi" chants in Lok Sabha that also witnessed a few instances of protest by the Opposition.

Sitharaman's follow-up statement that the tax relief will only be available to those opting for the new regime might have dampened spirits, but another round of applause from the treasury benches came when she announced a massive 33 per cent hike in the capital expenditure to 10 lakh crore.

The treasury benches frequently broke into chants of "Modi Modi".

The Lok Sabha chamber witnessed camaraderie before the House assembled for the day with National Conference members Farooq Abdullah and Hasnain Masoodi having a chat with Home Minister Amit Shah.

Sitharaman’s announcement of allocation of 5,300 crore to the Upper Bhadra project in Karnataka was described as a sop for the state where elections are due in May.

The announcement of building 50 new regional airports had the opposition breaking into chants of ‘Adani, Adani’, an apparent reference to the Adani Group which had won the mandate to operate seven of the eight airports leased by the Airports Authority of India.

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