Sanctity of regular Budget numbers called into question: Cong

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (file photo)

New Delhi:  Coming down heavily on the NDA government, Congress Thursday said the sanctity of regular Budget numbers have been called into question and that amendments are being made to laws without adequate discussions in Parliament.

Initiating the discussion on the Finance Bill, 2019, Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there is no roadmap for achieving the target of USD 5 trillion economy.

"Fiscal honesty" is being undermined and deficits are underplayed, he said.

Referring to mismatch in certain figures mentioned in the Economic Survey and the Budget, Chowdhury said the sanctity of regular Budget numbers have been called into question.

Taking a swipe, the Congress leader said the several amendments to laws that are not related to finance are being proposed through the Finance Bill.

The government has been encroaching upon the territory of Parliament as most of the bills are not going for scrutiny, he said and cited various examples.

He claimed that the central government imposes cess and surcharge but those are not devolved to states and emphasised that such a thing cannot be cooperative federalism.

Investment rates have come down, manufacturing sector is in doldrums and the government is coining new names for old schemes, Chowdhury said.

There should be formula for generation of wealth in the Budget he added.

Amid the ruling BJP's refrain that the Congress did little for the economy, he said the Congress has contributed building the Indian economy.

Criticising the government, Chowdhury said it should not be "boastful and vainglorious" about its achievements and emphasised that previous and current situation are not comparable, referring to the time when Congress was in power.

"You should not see the past as a cancelled cheque... you should look at from where we started," he said and remarked that before Independence, the country's growth was less than one per cent.

He also mentioned about economic growth numbers when the Congress ruled the country.

"The country is gasping for employment... (the employment figures) are heart wrenching," Chowdhury said, stressing on the need for concerted efforts to build the economy.

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