Union Budget Actionless, Directionless: Partha Chatterjee

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Kolkata: West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress on Friday dubbed the Union Budget as “faceless”, “baseless”, “actionless” and “directionless”, and said it has completely disappointed the people who had voted with great enthusiasm to bring back the BJP to power at the Centre.

“There is not a single line in the Budget on job creation. This Budget is baseless, faceless and actionless,” Trinamoo secretary general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters.

Chatterjee described many of the Budget proposals as “impractical” and “hazy”.

“For instance, the Finance Minister in her speech talks of operationalising 210 km of metro lines. But there is no mention of budgetary support for the projects. Some of the ongoing Metro projects are in our state. But it is difficult to make any comment as the speech is very hazy,” he said.

Giving another example, Chatterjee said the Budget talks of giving pension benefits to etail traders and small shopkeepers with annual turnover less than Rs 1.5 crore. “But it is unclear who would get the pension – the proprietors or the employees?”

“Those who voted with great enthusiasm for the BJP, are now disappointed. As the Budget has pricked their balloon of hope”.

Reiterating that people have been deprived, Chatterjee assailed the Budget for raising the price of petrol and diesel by proposing an additional special excise duty (SAED) of Re 1 and a road and infrastructure cess of Re 1 per litre on both transport fuel.

“This will have a cascading effect on prices of all commodities and put fresh burden on the common man,” he said.

Turning to his state, Chatterjee said: “There is nothing for Bengal. We had sought a loan waiver, a special package. But nothing has been given”.