LS passes interim budget amid uproar

New Delhi, Feb 11 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 2/11/2019 11:46:21 AM IST

The interim budget 2019-20 was passed in the Lok Sabha Monday amidst sloganeering by the TDP MP’s demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh and walk-out by the Congress, NCP and CPI-M.

Accusing the Congress of betraying the nation by opposing government policies for the poor and farmers, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said the people will never forgive it, PTI reported.

While replying to the debate on the interim budget, Goyal said the Modi government had taken a lot of initiatives in the past four-and-half years for the benefit of poor, farmers and middle class and the 2019-20 Interim Budget was a continuation of that.

Referring to the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi under which small farmers will be provided Rs 6,000 financial assistance every year, Goyal said that those living in palaces will never understand the importance of Rs 2,000 every four months and hence they “belittle” the scheme.

Goyal said that the Narendra Modi-led government has changed the working style followed by the Congress party. ‘We are moving towards an honest system,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that he was ‘grudgingly given only two minutes’ to debate the ‘longest interim budget speech in history.’

Tharoor said that his party would have welcomed the proposed tax exemption move, but it was coming from the government that is ‘pulling cash out’ of the middle class in every possible way.

He also said that the AIIMS promised in Kerala still remains unfulfilled and no money has been allocated with regards to the damage caused by Cyclone Okchi.

All India Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy questioned the central government over employment data. He alleged that the government is not releasing the data on unemployment because it is an all-time high.

Trinamool Congress termed the interim Budget 2019-20 as “vote-oriented” and questioned the Narendra Modi government’s track record on providing jobs, alleging that unemployment is at an all-time high in the last 45 years.

Participating in the debate on interim Budget in the Lok Sabha, Trinamool member Saugata Roy also criticized the government’s decision of demonetization, saying that it had taken away lakhs of jobs and adversely affected the country’s economy.

“It looks like the Finance Ministry has been outsourced. The Railway Minister is presenting the Budget. They have two MoS (ministers of state), but a civil aviation MoS is defending the government,” he said in a jibe at the government.

Roy accused the government of weakening institutions like the Reserve Bank of India by interfering in their autonomy.

On defence allocation, he said it was only one-fifth of what China was spending.

“Of this, 20 per cent will go to Rafale and the deal has exposed their chinks in their armour,” he said. Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK, which is being wooed by the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, on Monday criticized the Narendra Modi government on various fronts including demonetization, GST, unemployment and farm distress.

Participating in a discussion on Budget 2019-2020 in the Lok Sabha, the party’s M. Thambidurai said that the interim budget, presented by the Modi government, was more of an “election manifesto” of the ruling party.

Terming the income support to farmers announced in the Budget as “meagre”, he said the government has not given proper attention to this problem.

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