22 Jul 2019 19:36 IST

Mixed reactions on Budget at VIT conclave

While VIT’s Chancellor stressed the need for electoral reforms, AIADMK MLA S Semmalai called it a visionary Budget

Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) on Saturday organised an all-party discussion on the Union Budget in Chennai. Dr G Viswanathan, Chancellor, VIT, stressed the need for electoral reforms with participation of government, political parties and people.

A meagre one per cent of GDP allocation to health and less than 4 per cent for education is not a good sign, he said, adding that the Centre should come out with better policies to alleviate poverty.

Columnist S Gurumurthy, said that while the Union Budget took forward the process of globalisation and liberalisation, only three per cent of the people are involved in the share market, with the rest of investments coming from foreign direct investment, which is not an ideal situation.

Gurumurthy said the government and the Reserve Bank of India should be on the same page on all key issues, such as external borrowings.

Spokesperson of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee S Peter Alphonse said that in the Budget, the States have lost their autonomy. The new taxes were in the form of surcharges and cesses, which fell outside the pool of taxes divisible with the States. “The Budget did not offer anything to the people below the poverty line. It lacked transparency as it did not show how to meet the deficit between revenue and expenditure,” he said.

Leader of the DMK Parliamentary Party in the Rajya Sabha Tiruchi N Siva said the Budget turned out to be a disappointment. There was no mention about eradication of unemployment. The GST was a blow to the manufacturing sector, and privatisation of profit-making public sector units was a dangerous trend.

D Pandian of CPI said the Budget was only a jugglery of statistics, adding that dollar-denominated borrowing was not good for the country.

AIADMK MLA S Semmalai described the budget as visionary but said that the cess on fuel should be withdrawn.

Youth wing secretary of MDMK, V Eswaran, said the Budget proposals did not have any schemes to implement the promises made by the Prime Minister during electioneering. He called it a lacklustre Budget.

K Balakrishnan, CPI(M) Tamil Nadu State secretary, said that it was a bad practice to merge loss-making public sector undertakings with profit-making PSUs, which he claimed turned profitable enterprises into loss-making ones. “The Budget offered nothing for farmers, nor mentioned anything about farm loan waiver,” he said.

State BJP youth wing President Vinoj P Selvam called it a development-oriented Budget.

SS Balaji, deputy general secretary of VCK, said there was no increase in the exemption limit of individuals income-tax limit.

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