01 February 2021, Chandigarh: Terming the union budget poll-bound states-centric as was in Padma Awards, Punjab Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, on Monday, lashed out that the entire North India has been ignored again in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman. The Union budget’s politicization has now reached unprecedented levels, he expressed grave concern.
Giving his strong views about the union budget, Mr. Badal said, it seems that just like the Padma awards, where almost 30 per cent of the awards went to the five states going to polls this year, the Union Budget is only meant for those ‘ABC’ states where electors are getting ready to vote.
He said, surprisingly the budget seems concentrated on A for Assam, B for Bengal and C for Chennai and others. Why is North India being penalized, the Punjab Finance Minister asked? He added that NDA will not benefit from such cheesy acts since the electorate is smart and sagacious, and it can see through the shenanigans of NDA. Be it national awards or be it budgetary allocations- all of them now depend on electoral politics at the cost of national priorities.
Both agriculture and defence get a nominal increase, said Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal, while adding that agriculture deserves more increase in allocation keeping in view of current scenario and this sector also faces a simultaneous 34 per cent reduction in rural development allocation. Defence receives only a one percent increase, though the country is facing a generational challenge on national security.
All Northern states are focused on agriculture and defence, and the idea of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” has been consistently ignored by the NDA Government. “The budget is silent on agriculture, it is silent on unemployment, it is silent on agricultural unrest, it is silent on MSP, it is silent on revenue generation, it is silent on the middle classes, and it is silent on DisComs,” Manpreet Singh Badal said.
However, what it is not silent about is selling precious national assets to private parties.