The Congress on Saturday dubbed the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha as 'jugglery of words', and said that there has been no relief for the middle class and the lower income groups.
"For middle class people and low income groups, there has been no relief. This Budget is nothing more than a jugglery of words," Congress leader Ashwani Kumar said.
Another Congress leader Kamal Nath, echoing similar sentiments, said the Budget was only about commissions, committees and promises.
"This has only been the budget of commissions, committees and promises," he said.
Presenting the NDA Government's first full-fledged budget in the Lok Sabha today, Jaitley said the economic environment in the country is far more positive than in the recent past, and added that the Centre's objective is to improve quality of life and to pass benefits to the common man.
The Finance Minister said that the government proposes to keep the fiscal deficit target of 3.9 per cent for year 2015-16, 3.5 per cent in 2016-17 and 3 per cent in 2017-18. He said Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be rolled out next year. The government is intending to achieve the fiscal deficit target of three per cent in the next three years.
He said the government needs a well-targeted system of subsidies rather than to cut them. The Finance Minister announced the allocation of 5,300 crore rupees for development of micro-irrigation.
He said a target of 8.5 lakh crore rupees credit will be extended to farmers in 2015-16.
He said the government is committed to utilise the vast postal network spread across the villages of the country to provide for increasing access to the financial system. He said the government will bring a bankruptcy code in 2015-16 to meet the global standards in the banking system as for easing of doing business. The government will also the Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana offering the coverage of two lakh rupees for just paying premium of twelve rupees.
He said the yojana will increase the access to insurance and will be linked with Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana. The Finance Minister said the government will also propose to launch Atal Pension Yojana, which will provide a defined pension to the old beneficiaries. To encourage the participation, the government will contribute 50 per cent of the premium in its new accounts opened before 31st of December this year.
He said the government has allocated another 1,000 crore rupees for Nirbhaya Fund to further strengthen the security of women.
The Finance Minister said that after the success of Visa on Arrival scheme in 43 countries, the government proposes to extend the same to 150 countries.
The government also proposes to establish the second AIIMS in Bihar to cater the health needs of the people in the state. He also proposed to set up AIIMS in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Assam.
The government proposed to reduce corporate tax from 30 percent to 25 percent in next four years. Jaitley said taxation is an instrument of socio economic engineering and none filing of returns or filing of returns with adequate returns will attract rigorous imprisonment.