Oppn corners Govt in LS on issues of inflation

New Delhi: Opposition BJP on Tuesday raised issues like inflation, corruption and black money to corner the government on the general budget, accusing it of juggling with figures to "mislead" the common man.

Initiating the debate on the budget, senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi questioned Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on fiscal prudence and said there was no money left with the government for non-plan expenditures with prices of essential commodities and crude oil going up everyday.

He said the flow of funds this year through sale of 3G spectrum helped the government balance the figures, but wondered what would happen from next year.

Joshi accused the government of trying to "mislead the common man. Jugglery of figures is going on."

"You have failed to control inflation. It is not a rosy picture," he said.

He asked whether reforms were the need of the hour or more attention should be paid to providing food to people and improving up agriculture.

"I don`t think this budget is leading us to growth or development," he said.

The senior BJP leader said that for the new Food Security Bill as well as the putting MNREGA on the Consumer Price Index, more money would be needed. "Where will it come from?" she asked, adding the government was trying to build "castles in the air".

"All your efforts will come to a nought," he said, asking how the government proposed to manage the situation.

Joshi requested Mukherjee not to open up the retail sector for FDI. "Whether it is local, domestic or foreign, you will destroy the economy. Please be kind to the agriculture and the retail sectors," he said.

Referring to the benefit given to the corporates in the budget, Joshi wanted assistance for tribals and women.

Joshi asked the government not to follow the model which was followed by United States, United Kingdom and China.

"India should have its own model," he said.

The senior BJP leader alleged that the government had not done anything for the birth anniversary celebrations of PC Ray founder of Bengal Chemicals, though it has allocated money for 150th anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore.

"This must be because of he had rightist thoughts," he said.

The Finance Minister was quick to respond saying money has already been allocated for Bengal Chemicals.

Sandeep Dikshit (Cong) said government policies in the past 5-6 years have helped the country to bear the brunt of economic slow down and this fiscal the country would register an economic growth of 8.6 per cent and rise in farm output by 5.4 per cent. Sandeep Dikshit (Cong) said government policies in the past 5-6 years have helped the country to bear the brunt of economic slow down and this fiscal the country would register an economic growth of 8.6 per cent and rise in farm output by 5.4 per cent.

Welcoming various proposal of the Finance Minister, he asked him to ensure better delivery of policies and schemes.

Dikshit asked for stringent action against those officials jeopardizing implementation of various schemes and said there was need for massive administrative reforms.

He laid emphasis on giving due attention to tier-II and tier-III cities which would become big metro cities in next one or two decades.

He said under the JNNURM, the government should plan creating infrastructure in these cities like metro rail connectivity.

Akhilesh Yadav (SP) slammed the government for presenting an anti-farmer budget where very less has been done for the economic empowerment of this class of society.

He said that the green revolution in particular a part of the country would not help the government to curb food price inflation.

He drew attention of the House to black money stashed in the banks abroad and said that the no effective steps are being taken to bring back that money.

Yadav pointed out that there is shortage of doctors in the country. Education facilities are not adequate and government has not made much provision in this budget.