Labour leader Christopher Fonseca termed the Union budget as anti-working class and anti-rural sector and also questioned the high allocation for the Defense sector, which he said exposed the lopsided priorities of the government claiming to be of the common man.
Quoting figures, he said while 15.5 per cent of the budget allocation is for the Defense sector, education gets only 7 percent while health is given 2.5 per cent and infrastructure a meager 1.7 per cent.
He strongly condemned the high allocation for defense sector on grounds that most of it is utilized to purchase arms and armaments from either USA, Russia or Israel, thereby helping the economies of those countries while neglecting the genuine needs of India.
“The best defense of any country is healthy and education citizenry with good infrastructure and not purchasing arms and armaments,” he said.
Given the increase in prices of vegetables and other agricultural products, agriculture should have got a priority which the budget has not done, he said adding that the Finance Minister should have outlined policies that will make agriculture attractive to the youth which would have not only given a boost to agriculture but also addressed a lot of other problems like migration to urban areas and rural unemployment.
He also regretted that the budget has failed to address the issue of corruption that is plaguing the country nor has it mentioned anything about getting back the “black money” stashed in foreign countries.
He also termed the budget as anti-working class as the increase in the bracket for exemption from income tax is ridiculous. “As the rupee has been downgraded, it is quite common for the salaried section to be earning around Rs 20,000 per month and all of them will come within the income tax bracket,” he said.
“Overall, the Finance Minister has only tried to paper over the issues plaguing the country without making any serious attempt to address any of them in his budget,” he said.