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Amarinder trashes budget

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Chandigarh, Feb 1 (IANS) Trashing the union budget presented on Friday as a "jumla budget" of the Modi government, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh described it as "a hogwash, with nothing for the farmers and youth, while putting more burden on the common man".

Reacting to the last budget of the Modi government, the Chief Minister said it was "an election-centric budget aimed at misleading the people with false promises", which were not backed by numbers.

"Though ostensibly a populist budget, it was a typical budget of a government on its last legs, with nothing except fake promises for the people," Amarinder Singh said in a statement here.

Rejecting the budget as "all fluff and no action", he termed the Rs 6,000 a year announced for marginal farmers as "mere peanuts".

"With just Rs 500 a month for the distressed farmers, the Modi government had made it obvious that they did not recognize the gravity of the problem. The exercise is a mockery of the interests of the farming community," the Congress Chief Minister said.

"They had promised Rs 15 lakh in the bank accounts of all but have ended up giving only Rs 6,000 a year to farmers up to 2 hectares of land, and that too at the end of their tenure, clearly showing their lack of intent to do anything for the farmers’ welfare.

"Even the MSP of 50 per cent above the production cost was nothing but an eyewash as the government was not buying all the items on the list," he said.

He pointed out that while maize had an MSP, it was not being bought by the government, forcing the farmers to sell it at an abominably low cost.

"The entire budget is in future tense, as it talks about a USD 5 trillion economy in five years and a USD 10 trillion economy in the next eight years. Nowhere did it reflect the achievements of the BJP-led NDA government of the past five years," he added.

He said the central government "had also breached healthy norms of constitutional propriety by announcing concessions for the future with a clear eye on elections" while it was expected to propose a mere Vote on Account.