Calling the NDA government's Interim Budget "a farce and a budget of desperation", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that "it's nothing but a BJP manifesto". She might not be an economist, but it's "obvious that economic emergency is on in the country", Ms Banerjee jibed.
"The budget proposals will be not implemented... New government will present the budget. This government's expiry date will be over in one month. The doctor has come after death. This budget is a cheating," she said in a post on her party, All India Trinamool Congress, website.
The government has announced a scheme for farmers, called PM-Kisan or ''Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi'', which aims at helping small and marginal farmers. Farmers, who own less than two acres of land, will receive direct annual handouts of around Rs 6,000 rupees in three installments and will cost the government around Rs 75,000 crore.
Ms Banerjee questioned the timing of the announcement and said, "Why has this government not announced a single agenda for farmers for the last four and a half years?"
Where will the money come from, was her next question. Before announcing a scheme, one must make sure there are enough funds, she advised.
The Trinamool chief accused the BJP-led government of killing jobs and claimed that within the last one year, two crore jobs were lost. "And now there has been a cut of 13.4 per cent in Skill Development Budget. This is a show-off budget," she said.
She also attacked the centre for increasing stress on state-run banks. "Non-performing assets (NPAs) have increased five times. Banking system has been destroyed," she claimed.
She said the central budget does not provide extra funds for MGNREGA and there has been "no increase in allocation" for rural development programmes, which would be effectively less if inflation is factored in". They have also decreased funds for Swachh Bharat Mission by 25 per cent, she said.
West Bengal has a successful health insurance scheme called "Swasthya Sathi" and the state government has opted out of the cnetre's "Ayushman Bharat" scheme as Prime Minister Modi is using it for his own publicity, the Bengal chief minister said.
"They are promoting schemes with their own pictures, although states are funding these schemes. The centre collects taxes from the states and gives us back a pittance," she lamented.
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