'Atmanirbhar Bharat ka Budget': MP CM; Cong says nothing for farmers

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(Eds: Adding reaction of Kamal Nath) Bhopal, Feb 1 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday hailed the 2021-22 Union Budget as 'Atmanirbhar Bharat ka Budget' which would create job opportunities and fuel growth.

However, state Congress president and former CM Kamal Nath dubbed the budget as 'highly disappointing', and said it has nothing for farmers, who are agitating for over two months against the Centre's three new farm laws.

Welcoming the budget, Chouhan said the steps taken by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi 'to create new employment opportunities and favourable conditions for business will help in making Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)'.

'It is Atmanirbhar Bharat Ka Budget,' he tweeted.

'The Prime Minister has given the Mantra of Reform, Perform and Transform! Providing benefits to each section of society during tough times of COVID-19 and helping a number of nations around the globe, India has been marching forward on all frontiers,' the CM further tweeted.

He further said that steps taken under the leadership of Modi will 'not only benefit in the present, but will also benefit us in future'.

However, Kamal Nath in a statement said people facing difficult times during the pandemic had a lot of expectations from this budget, but it has 'highly disappointed them'.

He said there is nothing for the farmers, who are agitating for over two months for their rights, except false promises like age-old doubling cultivators' income, strengthening the mandi system despite provision in the new agriculture laws to abolish them.

'It is an attempt to mislead people again with false promises,' Nath claimed.

Referring to joblessness among youth, especially because of COVID-19, Nath said the budget has nothing for young men and women who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

He said the budget includes a number of announcements made in the past.

'Those who used to say they will not allow the country to be sold, have now a new slogan of selling everything, which is clearly reflected in this budget,' Nath said, apparently taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress leader also said there is nothing in the budget for the poor and middle class.

'People were expecting a rebate in the income tax slabs, but it was not raised. They were also expecting a reduction in the prices of petrol-diesel and LPG, but they have been cheated again,' he alleged. PTI MAS BNM GK GK