BJP describes Union budget as politically oriented

New Delhi: BJP Parliamentary Party today discussed the merits of the budget for 2011-12 at its weekly meeting, describing it as a "politically oriented" in view of the impending elections in five states and said it did not address key issues of inflation, corruption and black money.

"This budget is entirely politically oriented keeping in mind the Assembly elections in five states. But he (Finance Minister) has tried to hoodwink people by mentioning figures in the budget which are entirely suspect," senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters after the meeting.

Sinha made a presentation on the budget at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting.

Citing an example, Sinha said the expenditure on subsidy was projected to Rs 1,16,000 crore in the current year which had gone upto Rs 1,64,000 crore. However, for next year it has been kept at Rs 1,43,000 crore.

"This is totally inadequate considering the increase in international crude prices, fertiliser subsidy and increase in MSP of various agriculture crops and the proposed Food Security Bill. This figure is unacceptable and bound to rise.

The fiscal deficit being projected at 4.6 per cent of GDP in the next budget is highly suspect," he said.

Rs 10,000 crore for Bharat Nirman is inadequate, he said.

The mention of black money, which BJP has been raising for some months now, also did not satisfy the main opposition which felt the government only reiterated its earlier stand.

"The Finance Minister has made a very dangerous proposal in the budget, namely, of allowing foreigners to invest in Indian stock market through Indian Mutual funds…. Is this opening a route for Indian black money to come back to India?" Sinha said.

He said only the provision of Know Your Customer was not enough as shown by recent bank frauds.

BJP stated that the government did not come out with any solid step to control inflation as shown by the Economic Survey and the budget.

"The word unemployment, which has been going up in the last 6-7 years, has found no mention in the budget," Sinha said.

The BJP leader said the Finance Minister has been "timid" on taxation.

"What has been given in direct taxes, has been taken away through indirect taxes. Overall, this is a misleading and timid budget," Sinha said.