Joshi blames Centre for recession, dubs budget as ''anti-poor''

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Patna, Mar 9 (UNI) Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today held the ''flawed policies'' of the UPA government responsible for recession in all spheres of the economy, barring the service sector, and termed the 2008-09 Budget as ''anti-poor''.

The former Union Minister told mediapersons here that the Budget presented by the UPA government was in itself a saga of the ''ill effects'' of the policies pursued by the Centre, as all spheres of the economy, including the manufacturing sector, witnessed recession, and growth was seen in only the service sector.

He pointed out that even Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram had admitted the fact that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could not touch the eight per cent mark this year.

''Prices of essential commodities continue to rise unabated and it is ironical that even the price of salt is on upward trend. The Centre has no concrete measures to check the steep rise in prices,'' Mr Joshi said.

He further alleged that the UPA government was following the anti-poor policies as the Central Budget would provide huge benefits to big industrial houses and people working in organised sectors, while the poor and downtroden were left in the lurch.

The BJP leader also took potshots at the Centre's claim of ameliorating the lot of small farmers by waiving their debts, which would cost Rs 60,000 crore to the state exchequer.

''The claim of the UPA government is far from ground realities as most of the small farmers take loans from private money lenders,'' he said, adding that the step could only provide relief to those taking loans from nationalised banks.

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