New Delhi: BJP on Monday termed the Union Budget as "uninspiring" and "deceptive" and said it had failed to address important issues of corruption, inflation, blackmoney and agriculture crisis confronting the nation.
    
Initiating the discussion on the Union Budget 2013-14 in the Rajya Sabha under protest due to the absence of Finance Minister P Chidamabaram in the House, Venkaiah Naidu (BJP) accused the Finance Minister of indulging in "jugglery" of financial figures and "deception" before the people.
    
He said the budget showed an increase of only 6.58 percent in real terms from that of previous year, which was lower than the rate of inflation.
    
Naidu said the Finance Minister should have compared his budget estimates with that of previous years' BE, but he had instead compared the data with previous year's revised estimates. "This is nothing but deception. Credibility of the budget system is lost," he said.
    
The BJP member also said the growth rate of 8.4 percent in 2004 during the NDA regime was highest during the last 14 years and it had plummeted to the pre-reforms period growth of 5 percent during UPA regime.
    
He said the budget showed deficit all over and no solution appeared to be in sight and described the situation as "gloomy".
    
"Words for the poor and deeds for the rich. Take away from the poor and give away to the rich. This is the motto of the budget," Naidu said, adding, "Chidambaram's policy seems to be injustice for all and appeasement to none."
    
He said the budget has no big and bold ideas and has failed to address major challenges. "It is silent on violent corruption and blackmoney," he said.
    
Naidu said the people expected government to give a solution to the problems confronting the nation. "This Budget is silent on blackmoney as not even one word has been said on it. The Budget failed to address two important issues - corruption and inflation - both of which are breaking the backbone of people," he said.

Naidu earlier raised strong objection to Chidambaram's absence from the House when discussion on the budget was on. But, by the time he started his speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in the House and this was appreciated by the BJP member.
    
He said the Finance minister could not address any of the challenges of slow growth rate, growing unemployment, agriculture crisis and presence of blackmoney within the country and that stashed abroad.
    
"The last budget had returned the country to pre-reforms growth rate of 5 percent. This budget also has the same potential," he said, adding there is no mention of fighting corruption in the budget speech.
    
"Even in the face of adverse external environment, 48 countries grew faster than India in 2012. (27 grew faster than 7 percent, 10 grew faster than 9 percent). All that required is prudent economic management, good governance and revival of domestic policies," he said.
    
Pointing to the gloomy economic situation, he recalled Morgan Stanley and HSBC downgrading India's growth rate to 6 percent for 2013-14, earlier estimated at 6.2 percent.
    
"You had inherited a robust economy. In 2004 UPA inherited from the NDA the economy which was growing at 8.4 percent, the fastest in 14 years. In 2012-13 under UPA, the rate fell to 5 percent, the slowest and lowest in the decade," he said.
    
Naidu said the higher initial growth under UPA was because of the good foundations laid by the previous Atal Behari Vajpayee government and schemes initiated by it which have since been lost.
    
He also said there was no continuity in the UPA government as the present Finance Minister is criticising the previous Finance Minister in his budget speech. "This shows all is not well with this government," he said.

(Agencies)

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