Patna: “This budget is a farce as it fails to address a number of issues facing the nation. It also ignores our appeal to give special economic status to Bihar. All in all, it does nothing for us and we are highly disappointed by it,” said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Kumar also expressed his disillusionment with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who, he said, failed to address issues related with ill-gotten money being stashed in foreign banks by corrupt politicians.
“It is clear that the budget was devised to give the Congress an unfair advantage in the coming Assembly elections in many states. The interests of the common man were sacrificed at the altar of political gains,” the Chief Minister said.
Meanwhile, members of the Bihar Industries Association (BIA) and Bihar Chamber of Commerce (BCC) also criticized the budget for completely ignoring the demand of a special status for Bihar to spur industrial growth in the region.
While praising the Finance Minister for increasing the share of manufacturing in the GDP from 16% to 25% and allowing a 20% increase in the health sector, former BIA president K. P. Jhunjhunwala took the UPA government to task for failing to address inflationary issues besieging the nation.
“The exemption in personal income tax from Rs 1.6 lakh to Rs 1.8 lakh is merely a drop in the ocean considering the current rate of inflation that has put a large portion of the nation’s population in a deep quandary,” Jhunjhunwala said.