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‘Budget supportive of the rich at the cost of the poor’

Special Correspondent

Would actually result in an increase in prices instead of curbing them, says BJP


‘Petrol prices would impact the prices of all products that require transportation’

‘There is no policy for the lakhs of unemployed in the small and big cities’


NEW DELHI: Delhi BJP president O. P. Kohli and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijay Kumar Malhotra on Saturday slammed the Union Budget 2010-11 presented by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the ground that it would actually result in an increase in prices instead of curbing them.

According to the party leadership, the Budget is supportive of the rich at the cost of the poor.

Prof. Kohli said the prices of petrol and diesel have been increased by nearly Rs.3 per litre and this would impact the prices of all products that require transportation. “Vegetables, milk and foodgrains shall become more costly,” he cautioned. Moreover, with transportation costs going up, the BJP leader said the transport fees for school children might also go up. Stating that the common man does not see any relief in this Budget, he said the women are particularly disappointed as their household expenditure is all set to go up further. He said unless the economic growth numbers translate into making the essential commodities cheaper, the figures given out by the Government would only remain an act of “statistical jugglery”.

Prof. Malhotra said the Budget is patently anti-people, anti-poor and anti-middle class and will fuel inflation and unemployment. He said by increasing the excise duty by 2 per cent, bringing 12 new items under the service tax net and levying service tax on rental income, the Finance Minister has only ensured that the inflationary trends continue.

He said it is notable that government staff and other employees have not been provided any exemption for standard deduction and while people with income of Rs.5 lakh and above have received some exemption from income tax, those drawing up to Rs.3 lakh per annum have not benefited. Therefore, he said, this Budget is “supportive of the rich at the cost of the poor”. Accusing the Government of not doing anything for the unemployed, Prof. Malhotra said “there is no policy (in the Budget) for the lakhs of unemployed in the small and big cities of the country”. “Delhi alone has a waiting list of over 4 lakh unemployed with its employment exchanges who have been completely ignored in this Budget,” he added.

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