Reacting to Arun Jaitley's budget, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the government high on projecting a bright picture but fiscal arithmetic is definitely at fault.
Singh said that "I don't think I can blame the budget for being motivated by scoring points in elections, but fiscal arithmetic is at fault," he told The Indian Express.
"This budget is high on projecting a bright picture but how will that be sustained (by the underlying fiscal arithmetic)," he said.
When questioned if the budget was reform-oriented, Singh said the word reform has been used and abused too many times. "I don't want to comment on it," he said. "Real issue is whether farm crisis is a thing of the past, if not, what is the strategy to deal with the farm crisis," Singh added.
Questioning the governement over the implementation of the Swaminathan formula, Singh said "How will farmers income be doubled? How will these promises be fulfilled?" he said.
Farmers, rural India and healthcare were the main focus of Budget 2018 the last pre-poll budget - presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earlier today, but the middle class hopes for Income Tax relief were dashed.
While the farmers were assured an MSP 1.5 times the cost of production, the poorest of the poor will be covered by universal healthcare to the tune of Rs 5 lakh per year.