The former union finance minister P Chidambram has issued a two page statement on his twitter account after the declaration of the union budget by finance minister Arun Jaitley terming it as big let down proposals which are neither bold nor radical and belying peoples’ expectations on all counts.
Listing his dissapointments point wise on fiscal deficit, exports, agriculture, healthcare, jobs, investment & credit, tax relief and slashing allocations Chidambaram took the finance minister to task and said that he has belied peoples’ expectation on all these fronts. Accusing the finance minister of serving the interests of the rich , affluent and the haves Chidambaram said : There is no relief for the average tax payer. Only corporates with the income up to 250 crores got a tax relief of 5% whereas for individuals standard reduction is back but the long term capital gain tax is also back. For the middle class earner and saver, one cancels the other.
He adds: Actually by way of LTCG and 4 percent cess the tax payer will pay the government 31000 crore more where as the gain through standard deduction will only be Rs 8000 crores. Similarly on the government’s over ambitious insurance scheme Chidambaram termed it a big JUMLA for befooling people. He says while the target group is 10 crore families.
There is as yet no scheme. Assuming that each family will avail of Rs 50,000 ( one tenth of the 5 lakhs), the amount required per year will be Rs. 5 lakh crore. If the insurance company will foot the bill, the premium of Rs 5000 to 15000 per month, per family will outgo Rs 50000 to 1,50,000 crore per year. On the investment and credit front the former finance minister discredited Jaitley of doing nothing in the budget to boost the private investment.
There was nothing in the budget to encourage banks to lend and investors to borrow for new investments. He said: it seems that the finance minister has given up on private investment altogether. Blaming the FM for not even creating a single job prospect Chidambaran said the FM has no new ideas and has fallen back on the tried and failed Mudra scheme. The average size of the Mudra loan is Rs. 43000.
This is tokenism and will not create even one job. More Mudra loans would mean more tokenism but no additional jobs. Chidambaram took the government to task for slashing allocations on important schemes for the poor, the economically deprived and those living in the rural areas of the country. He said: the most dissapointing part of the budget is the cut n the outlays on the major schemes of2018/ 19 like MNREGA, PMAY, National Drinking Water Mission, Swach Bharat Mission, Mid Day Meals Scheme, National Health Mission, Gram Jyoti Yojana, Short Term Farm Credit etc.
Emphasising on the job front in particular Chidambaram said that jobs are not being created in the country and industrial growth too has come down to 6.8% in 2016-17 to 2.7% in 2018.