Ruling LDF, opposition parties slam union budget

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 1 (PTI)Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the 'pro corporate' union budget had 'disappointed' people of the country and it only reiterated the Centre's stand to open the agricultural sector to them,while opposition parties said it has cheated citizens.

The budget showed that all the mediation talks with the farmers were just an 'eyewash' and the Centre did not intend to withdraw the three contentious laws against which farmers are on an agitation for over two months in Delhi borders, he said in a statement.

'This amounts to challenging the people of the country.

The budget reiterates the stand of the central government, opening the agricultural sector to the corporates'.

The CM said that the union government, through this budget, had decided to divest more Public Sector Undertakings in the country and invite Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) .

By withdrawing from variousfields, including the insurance sector, the government's attempt is to push the country into the hands of the corporates,he alleged.

On the Centre's proposal in the budget to set up a Development Financial Institution for basic infrastructure development, which is likely to receive investment from the private sector as well, Vijayan saidthose who opposed the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Fund Board (KIIFB) as unconstitutional were now following the state's model.

Describing as an 'election gimmick' the budgetary allocation of Rs 65,000 crore for development of Highways in Kerala, Finance minister Thomas Isaac said it had been announced earlier.

Opposition leader in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala, said the budget had 'cheated' the people.

Except the second phase development of Kochi Metro project and development of Kochi Fishing Harbour, there was nothing new for the state, he said.

Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said everyone had expected some relief in the budget from skyrocketing petrol and diesel prices, but that was not to be.

Free COVID-19 vaccine was also expected from the government, but had not come about, he said. PTI UD APR ADMINISTRATOR ADMINISTRATOR