Tuesday 9 July 2019 3:08 AM UTC
New Delhi July 9: As the World Cup comes closer to a grand finale, Shashi Tharoor today reverted to cricket lexicon in the Parliament to criticize the Union Budget which was presented on Friday.
The Union Budget has “unnecessarily defensive strokes, drop catches and quite a few no balls,” he said in the Lok Sabha, a day before India take on New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals.
“Since cricket is on our minds these days with World Cup semi-final tomorrow, let me say that instead of bold boundaries we expected in this first budget after the elections, what we have are unnecessarily defensive strokes, drop catches and quite a few no balls and wides,” he said, slamming the government for allegedly not addressing key issues like farmers’ distress and rising fuel prices.
The budget was characterised by “mediocre set of announcements, distinctive misses, defining silences of matter of substance,” he said.
“We were left with a sort of ”trishanku” budget, neither here nor there,” he said.
Criticising the lack of mention of the country’s GDP growth rate, Mr Tharoor said the word “GDP” came up only once in Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden Budget speech.
“Hastily and ill thought through demonetisation bears the large share of responsibility for shutting down lakhs of small and micro enterprises, throwing many more lakhs of people out of work,” he alleged.
Shashi Tharoor also raised the issue of agrarian distress and farmer suicides.
“Our nation’s farmers who provide food security have in the last five years received stepmotherly treatment form this government which has resulted in record level of farmer suicides,” he alleged.
The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi in its current form is away from reality of the acute agrarian crisis the country is facing, the Congress lawmaker said, referring to the scheme of providing Rs.6,000 per year cash transfer to small and marginal farmers.
The government’s announcement that it was again targeting 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target hardly inspires any confidence because it is the same figure the government announced last year and failed to meet, Mr Tharoor said.
“Now the government is hoping for lakhs of crores (of rupees) by selling loss making Air India. But the far more successful Jet Airways has failed to find buyer. Who is going to bid for Air India?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, the common man, he said, was already paying the highest fuel prices in the world because of the government’s taxes on petrol and diesel at a time when prices of fuel were dropping worldwide.
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