Budget a move towards privatisation:NCP;Maha ignored,says Sena

·6-min read

(Eds: Adding reax of dy CM, Congress and AIMIM) Nagpur/Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) The ruling Shiv Sena on Monday said Maharashtra was ignored in the Union Budget while its allies NCP and Congress termed the annual financial plan as disappointing amidst the coronavirus pandemic and a move towards privatisation.

On the other hand, senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the provisions made for metro projects for Nashik and Nagpur cities in the Budget.

Deputy Chief Minister and state Finance Minister Ajit Pawar said, 'At a time when country's scientists gave life to the people by inventing COVID-19 vaccine, the Union budget has once again put the public on the path of death'.

State Home Minister and senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh said the Budget presented by the Central government was very disappointing.

'It seems like a move towards privatisation. The common man has been neglected in this budget. Similarly, no concrete decision has been made for farmers,' he told reporters in Nagpur.

Deshmukh said the Budget failed to meet expectations of the people amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Another NCP leader and state Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad tweeted: 'The new budget in simple words....#India_For_Sale'.

NCP's Maharashtra chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman used flowery words in her Budget speech to hide the 'real intention of privatisation'.

'Defence found no mention even when China has encroached into our territory. No specific roadmap to tackle unemployment,' he alleged.

The Central government on Monday budgeted Rs 1.75 lakh crore from stake sale in public sector companies and financial institutions, including two PSU banks and one insurance company, in the next fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar said the Budget has left the protesting farmers as well as youth, who lost their jobs during the lockdown, disappointed.

He said injustice was meted out to Maharashtra, which contributes the highest revenue to the country's coffers.

He said MPs from all parties from Maharashtra should meet the Union finance minister to ensure justice for the state.

Ajit Pawar said tribals, minorities and backward communities were also ignored in the Budget, 'which makes no substantial provisions for schemes meant for women, while the middle class too is angry as there is no change in the income tax slabs'.

He said while the Union finance minister announced Rs 25,000 crore for West Bengal, but it is not certain whether the poll-bound state will get it.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said 'Maharashtra is not seen in this Budget'.

To a question whether some states have received more allocations considering upcoming polls there, Raut said in that case, the financial plan cannot be called as a national budget, but that of a political party.

'For the past several years, people like us have been trying to find Maharashtra in Union budget. But Maharashtra is not seen in it,' he told reporters here.

He said Maharashtra, and particularly Mumbai, makes a huge contribution in terms of revenue for the country, but the state has always faced injustice.

'Maharashtra feeds stomach of the country. But nobody is paying attention towards of the stomach of Maharashtra,' he said.

The Sena leader said some funds have been allocated in the Budget for metro projects in Nashik and Nagpur, 'but who will talk about the metro car shed project blocked by the Centre in Kanjurmarg (in Mumbai)?' Asked if funds have been allocated for the Nashik and Nagpur metro projects as the BJP is in power in the local governing bodies there, Raut said, 'I do not agree with the claim because the BJP won't be in power there henceforth.

Definitely, not in Nashik, and there will be a big war in Nagpur'.

He said the common man understands the language only of hunger and stomach.

'The youth understand the language of employment. We can appreciate a Budget if it is presented in such simple language and action is taken on the provisions made in it,' he said.

When asked about the government announcing a cess on certain items, including petrol and diesel, in the Budget to boost agriculture infrastructure, Raut said, 'petrol price in some parts of the country is already Rs 100 per litre. The government may even want the rates to soar to Rs 1,000 per litre'.

He said the government has not made any substantial provisions for farmers in this Budget.

'The three new farm laws are in the interest of four to five capitalists. The laws are made for them (the capitalists),' he alleged.

Former CM Fadnavis has welcomed the provisions of Rs 2,092 crore for Nashik metro and of Rs 5,976 crore for the phase-2 of Nagpur metro made in the Budget.

He stated that both the proposals for metro were moved during the BJP's tenure in Maharashtra.

'In today's #AatmanirbharBharatKaBudget GoI made a provision of 2092 crore for Nashik Metro. Thank you Hon PM @narendramodi ji , Hon FM @nsitharaman ji! Nagpur Metro Phase-2 too got 5976 crore. Both these proposals were sent during our tenure of Maharashtra Government,' Fadnavis tweeted.

The BJP was in power in Maharashtra from 2014 to 2019 in alliance with the Shiv Sena.

Senior Congress leader and minister Ashok Chavan said the Budget was disappointing for the middle class which expected more after the downturn caused by the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown.

The state PWD minister said in Aurangabad that the Budget aims to exploit the common man, farmers, workers, traders and industry.

'There is no change in income tax slabs which has led to disgruntlement among the country's middle class, and a mere hike of Rs 3,000 crore in agriculture allocation was not enough,' Chavan said.

He said the Budget was silent about the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), and the service sector, which is among the highest employment generators, didn't get any relief.

AIMIM MP from Aurangabad, Imtiaz Jaleel, said that Mumbai was ignored in the Budget.

'There was no mention of the financial capital in the speech made by Sitharaman. The expectations from the government in this year's Budget were huge considering losses in every sector because of the coronavirus pandemic. However what have been delivered is just promises,' he said in a statement.

Jaleel said it was 'unfortunate' that the government takes decision only for poll-bound states.

'The government is bent upon selling everything to private players of their choice which reflects in the disinvestment decision. There is no mention of how the government intends to generate employment for youngsters,' he said. PTI ENM CLS AW BNM NSK NSK