Union Budget is for entire nation and not for polls: Maha CM

·3-min read

Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) In a dig at the Centre, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said a Union Budget is meant for the entire country and 'not for polls'.

Speaking to reporters, Thackeray, however, said he won't comment on Budget 2021-22, which was presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament earlier in the day, 'in a hurry' and will speak only after going through its details.

The Opposition has accused the Centre of allocating more funds to some poll-bound states, including West Bengal, eyeing Assembly elections there.

'I won't comment on the Budget in a hurry. I will speak later. But from what I have heard (about Budgetary provisions) so far, the Budget should be for the country and not for elections. This is the budget of the country and not of polls,' said Thackeray, who heads Shiv Sena.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi termed the Union budget disappointing, which she claimed has failed to address the concerns of the people, including farmers as well as entrepreneurs among others.

'The government has yet again overlooked the Aam Janta which was the most affected due to the COVID impact and the lockdown,' Chaturvedi said in a statement.

She said while the Union finance minister has termed the financial plan 2021-22 as the 'budget of the century', but unfortunately, it has become the 'blunder of the century which will do little to address the concerns of the people of the country'.

Chaturvedi said the Budget gives no tax relief to the salaried class and offers nothing much to women 'except the lip service towards existing schemes'.

'Instead, the budget has set new privatisation targets and makes manifesto promises to poll-bound states,' the Sena spokesperson alleged.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra NCP president and state minister Jayant Patil has termed the Budget 'bad and disappointing', which has given 'step-motherly treatment to Maharashtra in allocation of funds while favouring poll-bound states'.

In his virtual address, Patil said the Centre was sitting on GST refund it owes to Maharashtra.

'Maharashtra's contribution towards GST (Goods and Services Tax) was the highest compared to other states. In 2019-20, Maharashtra contributed Rs 1.85 lakh crore in GST collection. The state government was expecting that it would get something in the Union budget. But, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is distributing money to other states and not keen on giving it to Maharashtra. Has Devendra Fadnavis asked Narendra Modi and decided not to help Maharashtra? he asked.

Patil said the Central government is providing funds to those states which are going to polls.

He also questioned the government on the implementation of cess on fuel for helping the farm sector.

The NCP leader also questioned the 'silence' of the Union finance minister on the security scenario 'amidst Chinese intrusion on borders and in the Bay of Bengal'.

'Amid all these concerns, you are not saying anything about budgetary allocation for the national security, which indicates that the Central government is not serious about the national security,' he said.

Patil questioned the status of ambitious Smart City project.

Meanwhile, farm activistKishore Tiwari termed the budget as an 'eyewash' for agrarian and rural India.

'It is India for sale budget for mega corporate companies,' he alleged. PTI ENM CLS NSK NSK