NEW DELHI -- Expressing his displeasure over Union Budget 2017-18, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said it has nothing for youth and farmers.
Addressing the media persons outside the Parliament, the Congress leader said, "We were expecting fireworks, instead got a damp squib. This budget is full of poetry. There is nothing for the youth or farmers. The government wanted to make an impact with budget before polls. But there was no impact. It should have announced something big for farmers."
Saying that Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made a "good speech", Gandhi however added that job creation found no mention in the budget.
Speaking on railways, Gandhi said the safety record under this government is "very bad".
"The rail safety record of this government is very bad. Did the Finance Minister say anything? Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken about bullet train. Has it come?" he asked.
The Congress vice-president further said that the country is facing fundamental issues, like unemployment, farmers problem, but the Narendra Modi government didn't offer something substantial on these fronts.
"It's a Budget of Sher-o-shayari, it has nothing for the unemployed youths or the farmers," Gandhi asserted.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari reiterated Gandhi's comments saying that the budget was "rhetorical" and had "precious little" in terms of job creation.
"This budget has again been high on rhetoric and low on delivery. While there are many grandiloquent pronouncements which have been made, but the fundamental reality that the economy needs to grow, jobs need to be created, private sector investment needs to be incentivised-all these three things are completely missing from the budget," Tewari told ANI.
Tewari stated that the budget numbers don't seem to add up as there is huge expansion on government spending on various schemes.
"If there is going to be that level of government spending then how does the Finance Minister actually plan to keep the fiscal deficit under check. There seems to be a complete contradiction between the two," he added.
The Congress spokesperson said that the Railway Budget got a very cursory mention in the entire budget speech.
"Perhaps this initiative which the government has taken needs to be revisited because railways is the single biggest public infrastructure which is there in the country and possibly railways requires a dedicated stand alone policy initiative which can possibly flesh out as to how this largest public infrastructure in country is performing," he added.
Tewari further said demonetisation completely torpedoed the Indian economy.
"It's very evident from the numbers which the economic survey has put out. There is absolutely nothing in the budget which incentivises and brings the economy back to high growth," he added.
Taking a jibe at the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre, another Congress leader Renuka Chaudhary said, "There is nothing on defence spending. How are they fighting the Uttar Pradesh elections? Did they get donations in cheque or digital payment?"
Presenting the Union Budget for 2017-18 in the Lok Sabha today, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the agenda of the government for the next year is to Transform, Energise and Clean India- TEC India.
He said TEC India seeks to transform the quality of the governance and quality of life of people, energise various sections of the society and clean the country from the evils of corruption, black money and non-transparent political funding.
Jaitley said the overall approach of the budget has been to spend more in rural areas, infrastructure and poverty elevation and yet maintain fiscal prudence.
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