Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday alleged that the Union budget gives "step-motherly" treatment to the state and does not do justice to Mumbai. The budget presented by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was far removed from reality, said Thackeray, a former ally of the BJP. "It is deeply disappointing for Maharashtra. This budget is unjust for Maharashtra and Mumbai which is the country's growth engine," Thackeray said in a statement. It does not support development of basic amenities in Mumbai and on-going metro projects in the megapolis, he said.
"There is no mention of the suburban railway network (in Mumbai) and development of proposed lines (on the Central and Western Railway routes).The budget gives no momentum to the development of railway network in the state except for the mention of projects announced earlier, such as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train," Thackeray said. He also raised a question over the Centre not considering any site from "culturally rich" Maharashtra for development as "iconic site". Sitharaman announced in the budget that Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu) will be developed as "iconic sites".
"The step-motherly treatment given to Maharashtra has become evident in the budget. The International Finance Centre in Gujarat has been strengthened, while Mumbai, which makes the highest contribution to the country's growth, has been deliberately ignored," Thackeray said. The decision to divest a stake in LIC and possible privatisation of the railways show the precarious state of the economy, the chief minister said. The growth rate for the current fiscal is 5 per cent, while in the economic survey for 2020-21 it is estimated at 6 to 6.5 per cent, he said. "This growth doesn't not have the potential to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of making India a USD 5 trillion economy nation," Thackeray said.
He also dismissed the finance minister's claim that the Goods and Services Tax gave a relief to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). "The Small and Medium Enterprises have been bedevilled by GST. People's purchasing power has decreased, impacting small scale industries, which in turn has landed workers in trouble. "There was a need to encourage employment-generating industries. But no such steps were announced in the budget," Thackeray said. It made no substantial provisions for farmers, women and children and disabled persons, he added.
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