Days after presenting Union Budget 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday responded to the criticism levelled against it by opposition parties.
By India Today Web Desk: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday shared her insight on Budget 2023. Speaking at Business Today Budget Round Table, Nirmala Sitharaman responded to criticism of the Union Budget by the opposition leaders.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had labeled the Budget “callous” and claimed that it betrayed the hopes of the vast majority of the people.
Responding to the Congress’s criticism, Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Spending for capital expenditure we can all talk about- to whom it goes, how it goes, and who benefits from it. But at the cost of social welfare (that opposition parties have alleged)? I am not sure they have done their work. I invite them to go and look into the details of the budget.”
“If they are alluding to MGNREGA, it always starts at the time of the Budget with a certain number, And because it’s a demand-driven programme, it keeps adding as and when there is a demand. And during the supplementary demand for grants, the amount increases. That has been the pattern,” the finance minister added.
She added that if the focus is just on MGNREGA, then a lot of things are being missed out on.
“If money is being spent on PM Awas Yojana, who are the ones building the house? The very people who go on job card for MGNREGA. And there, in PM Awas Yoajana, there is a 66 per cent hike. Will that not benefit them?” Nirmala Sitharama questioned.
She added that even the work under Jal Jeevan schemes happened in rural areas, adding its “the very same work that MNREGa workers do.”
“Did they (the opposition parties) all look at it? So, is there a comprehensive picture that you have seen and you’re telling me I have reduced (budgetary allocation)? No, sorry. Please spend some time and look at it (Budget) and then come back to me if I have reduced it,” Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Source: India Today