Jammu, Mar 23: Opposition Congress and National Conference today said the maiden budget of PDP-BJP government was a "damp squib" and despite having one of the finest economist heading the finance ministry, it was just "whimper."
"We were expecting some big bang announcements in the budget, but instead it was all whimper, the budget is a damp squib" Congress legislative party leader Nawang Rigzin Jora said while replying to the budget speech of the finance minister Haseeb Drabu.
He said the budget was not just a statement of accounts of receipts and expenditure, it was a life transforming exercise given the right direction and right intention, "Unfortunately this budget is a routine exercise in accounting and nothing more," he said.
Jora said there was a lot of "hype and hoopla" about the devolution under the 14th finance commission award.
"Yes it is true that such devolution would be statutory and non discriminatory, but your plan funds and more than half of your centrally-sponsored schemes have been subsumed under this award," he said.
Jora said the budget has nothing concrete for the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood affected families. He said mere creation of a Relief and Rehabilitation department was not enough, "What happened to the proposal of Rs 44,000 crore which the previous government had sent. Where is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise of liberal funding gone, you have so far got from only about 700 crores from the government of India," he said.
Mohamed Shafi (Uri) of National Conference while replying the budget speech of the finance minister objected to the terms used by the finance minister in which he had said that the state government will not go to the Centre with a "begging bowl" "Nobody ever goes to the Centre with a begging bowl, it's the Centre-State relations guaranteed under the Constitution that union governments provide funds to the state government," Shafi said, adding that the dignity was never lost and how was the new government claiming to restore it.
The NC leader said 70 per cent people were related to agriculture whereas horticulture constituted an important part of state economy, "Now people related to agriculture changing their occupation. It would have been good if your budget would have talked about the diversification of agriculture and investment in agriculture," he said. He further said that the government should extend 100 per cent loan waiver to the farmers on Kissan Credit card against the 50 per cent proposed in the budget.