Amit Mitra, former finance minister of Bengal and well known economist expressed disappointment that the Union Budget did not address the issues of tackling unemployment and rising inflation, the two main problems facing the “common man.”
Mitra, who is currently Principal Chief Adviser to West Bengal Chief Minister, in an interview to PTI on Wednesday, claimed that the Budget despite its promise to allow states to borrow more for infrastructure spending was in reality giving a go-by to the concept of federalism by not transferring promised resources to the states.
Mitra regretted that the central government has cut down MGNREGA from Rs 89,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore (almost by a third). The Budget is sending a signal that we do not care for you and you better find some other source of livelihood.
As for transfers to states, he said the amount was pegged Rs 3.34 lakh crore in the last budget. However, till November, the Centre had transferred Rs 1.41 lakh crore. Almost half the money promised still remains to be transferred to the states.
He said Nirmala Sitharaman has not said a word about the unorganised sector. The sector employs 93 per cent of the labour force of the country. They were badly hit during the demonetisation. The supply chain of which they were a part was absolutely broken. What does this budget have for this sector ?
With inputs from News18