Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], February 1 (ANI): The Union Budget is not people-friendly as it has been prepared keeping in mind the interests of a few businessmen, Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti said.

"Taxes have increased and money is not being spent on welfare schemes or subsidies. Taxes are being amassed for their crony capitalists. The taxes imposed should have benefitted the people, but they have broken their backs,"Mehbooba Mufti said.

She said that this year Budget is the same that had been coming in for the last eight to nine years.

"The taxes have increased and the money is not being spent on welfare schemes and subsidies. The tax is being collected for some crony capitalists and big businessmen. Instead of benefitting the public from taxes, they are breaking their back," Mehbooba Mufti said.

She further said: "instead of benefitting the common people, the welfare schemes and subsidies are being scrapped. People who had earlier risen above the poverty level have fallen again."Meanwhile, Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah said that he would comment on the Budget once the right time comes.

"Budget is budget. There is a benefit to the middle class and everyone is being provided something. We are hopeful for the election to take place. I congratulate her [Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman] as we listened to her for one-and-a-half-hour. We will talk about it when the right time comes, and then you will listen to what we have to say about the budget," Farooq Abdullah said talking to ANI in Delhi.

Sitharaman started her Budget speech at 11 am, the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term. Like the previous two Union Budgets, Union Budget 2023-24 is also presented in paperless form.

This year's Budget holds much significance as the country is scheduled to have the next Lok Sabha election in April-May 2024.

As per established tradition, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with ministers of state Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Karad and Finance Secretary T V Somanathan called on President Droupadi Murmu.

The budget session of the Parliament began on Tuesday with President's address, subsequently tabling the Economic Survey for 2022-23. The formal exercise to prepare the annual Budget for the next financial year (2023-24) commenced on October 10.

The Economic Survey, tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday, noted India's GDP is expected to grow in the range of 6 to 6.8 per cent in the coming financial year 2023-24. This is in comparison to the estimated 7 per cent this fiscal and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22. (ANI)

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