16/03/2015 8:36 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Opposition Attacks Budget, Says It Is Pro-Corporates, Anti-Poor

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley holds a briefcase containing union budget for the year 2015-16 as he leaves his office for Parliament to present the union budget in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

NEW DELHI — The NDA government's first full-fledged budget today came in for sharp criticism in Lok Sabha from opposition, which termed it as anti-poor and anti-middle class and said it mostly favours the corporates. Parties like Congress, AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, BJD, CPI(M) and TRS attacked the government, saying it had reduced allocation for social welfare and anti-poverty programmes while giving benefits to corporates and focusing on FDI.

Jayadev Galla, member of NDA ally TDP, said the Centre has fallen short by Rs 3,266 crore in its provision to the state based on the Finance Commission recommendation. While the Finance Commission has suggested over Rs 24,000 crore to be given to Andhra Pradesh, the state has got over Rs 22,000 crore, he said.

BJP, on the other hand, strongly defended the budget and said opposition was criticising it just for the sake of it. The members made their views when the House took up the debate on General Budget 2015-16. The debate was slated to be taken up on Friday last but a united Opposition forced its deferment because of the absence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Jaitley, who was present in the House today after his return from an official trip to Britain, will reply to the discussion tomorrow. To target the government, opposition members specifically raised issues like increase in service tax, no change in income tax slab and failure to pass on the benefit of reducing petroleum prices to consumers.

Some non-NDA and non-Congress members also alleged that the budget was just a re-packaging of UPA's budget. Initiating the debate, Veerappa Moily (Cong) said most of the initiatives announced in the budget were started during the time of the UPA. The government is lucky and reaping the fruits of low oil prices and the award of the 14th Finance Commission, which was set up by the previous regime, said the former minister for Corporate Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas.

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