Lok Sabha polls are round the corner- CPI

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New Delhi, Feb 29 (UNI) The CPI today asserted that the general elections are round the corner.

"Please see the writing on the wall in terms of announcement of bonanza for farmers by waiving off their loans to the tune of Rs 50000 crore, altering the tax slabs to benefit various classes," eminent parliamentarian and CPI senior leader Gurudas Dasgupta told newspersons soon after presentation of the budget proposals for 2008-09 in the Lok Sabha.

However, Mr Dasgupta along with other senior party leader D Raja, expressed their "unhappiness" over the way Finance Minister P Chidambaram did not address the people's issues like price front, unemployment, social security for agricultural workers and other sections of the 370 million strong unorganised sector workers.

On the waiver of loans for as many as 4 crore small and marginal farmers, the CPI leaders maintained that it is a single time damage control excerise.

"If Mr Chidambaram would have been serious about mitigating the sufferings of the farmers of whom over 1.5 lakh had already committed suicide, he should have reduced the interest rate of loans," said Mr Dasgupta.

When asked why the Left had not cheered the government announcements on providing relief to individual tax payers, women and child and more funds for irrigation facilites, Mr Dasgupta quipped,''we did not cheer anything. Indeed we are not happy with the Budget.'' Mr Dasgupta, party Floor leader in Lok Sabha, said the Budget did not provide the desired allocation of funds for the Central Plan. In addition he should have made the total Plan outlay to the tune of Rs 10 lakh crore.

The CPI leaders also criticised the government for not allocating the desired funds for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

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