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Govt presented full-fledged budget instead of interim one: Opposition slams BJP


New Delhi, Feb 01: Making a strong re-election pitch, the BJP-led NDA government on Friday announced the biggest income tax sops for middle class, including complete exemption for income up to Rs 5 lakh, and Rs 6,000 annual cash dole to poor farmers in a scheme that will cost Rs 75,000 crore per year.

Piyush Goyal

Soon after the presentation, the Opposition has alleged that the government presented a full-fledged budget instead of an interim one.

‘Paying bribe to voters': Kharge

‘Paying bribe to voters': Kharge

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Kharge said the promises made by the BJP in this budget are mere poll sops and "jumlas", which will not be fulfilled as the BJP has a mandate to rule only till May this year.

"I would term today's budget as BJP's election manifesto," Kharge said.

"This is all being done for elections. I directly charge them of paying bribe to voters," he alleged.

Kharge said the BJP has not told the people on what they have achieved during their rule and how many promises it has fulfilled in its five years of government.

Budget an 'account of votes', not vote on account: Chidambaram

Budget an 'account of votes', not vote on account: Chidambaram

Former finance minister P Chidambaram termed the union budget as an "account for votes" and not a "vote on account".

Chidambaram, who had presented the last interim budget in 2014, tore into the NDA II's interim budget and especially Goyal's bi-lingual speech while addressing the media.

He said those who did not know Hindi didn't understand half of the budget while those who did not know English didn't get to understand half as well. He said the government left people confused, at least for a day.

Whole exercise has turned out to be damp squib, castles in the air: Tharoor

Whole exercise has turned out to be damp squib, castles in the air: Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, while lauding the tax relief for the middle class, called the BJP-led government's last budget as 'fantasy language' and said that 'castles are being constructed in the air' by the government.

Talking to media outside the Parliament shortly after Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the budget in the Lok Sabha, Tharoor said that the exercise has turned out to be a 'damp squib'.

"The whole exercise has turned out to be a damp squib. We have seen one good thing that is a tax exemption for the middle class. Rs 6000 in income support for farmers boils down to Rs 500 per month. Is that supposed to enable them to live with the honour and dignity?" Tharoor said.

Rs. 17 a day an insult: Rahul Gandhi

Rs. 17 a day an insult: Rahul Gandhi

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over sops for farmers in the budget 2019, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said giving Rs 17-a-day to farmers is an insult.

"Dear NoMo,5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving the Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for," the Congress president said in a statement on Twitter.

‘Budget of desperation by govt past expiry date’: Mamata Banerjee

‘Budget of desperation by govt past expiry date’: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee has slammed the interim budget for 2019-20 and has described it as a budget by a government that will be past its expiry date within a month.

"The budget is a budget of desperation. It won't be implemented. The new government will decide and pass the new budget. This government will expire in a month. In a month this budget can't be implemented. The government has no moral authority to place a budget," she said addressing a press conference soon after finance minister Piyush Goyal presented the interim budget.

Introduced by the interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in the Parliament today, the budget offered many benefits to the middle class- a crucial vote bank ahead of the national polls. However, towering all other points, the major income tax relief announcement, impressed the middle class the most.

Goyal announced that individual taxpayers with annual income up to 5 lakh rupees to get full tax rebate, which triggered a huge applause in the Parliament with the NDA MPs chanting "Modi Modi".

Goyal also said that Individuals with gross income up to 6.5 lakh rupees will not need to pay any tax if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.

The interim budget which focused primarily on farmers and middle class, was being speculated to be a please-all budget at a time when opposition attacks over high prices, and indifference towards farmers, are stronger.

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