NAC-PMO differences stalling economic reforms

New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday claimed that "differences" between Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council and the PMO on implementing economic reforms had prevented a "weak" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from initiating such changes in the budget.

"We are unable to control spiralling prices, the interest rates are increasing. There is a need to bring some reforms. The Prime Minister is weak and it seems with the differences between the National Advisory Council and the Prime Minister`s Office, the reforms cannot be implemented," Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said here.

Dubbing the Union Budget as an "eyewash", he claimed that "no big thought" has gone behind preparing the document.

"It is an eyewash. Only good packaging has been made to make it look good…the packaging won`t last long…," Jaitley said.

He was delivering a talk on the Union Budget at the Delhi state headquarters of the BJP here.

Jaitley said while infrastructure was the key to development, the ruling dispensation has "only created scams in the two main sectors of highways and telecom".

He said with high interest rates and a lack of industrial development, India is no more an attractive investment destination.

"Even industrialists from the country now prefer to invest abroad as the process is much easier there," the BJP leader said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the Budget proved that the Centre lacked vision in preparing the document.

The BJP leader said an example of this was the decision to provide fertilizer subsidy to people living below poverty line.

"A person in BPL category will not have land to cultivate. What will he do with the fertilizer… will he eat it," Swaraj quipped.

She said as a woman, she found nothing for the gender in the budget. "A woman feels empowered when the kitchen expenses are under control… there is nothing to help the women," she said.