PATNA: Even as the ruling NDA coalition hailed the Union budget, the opposition parties in Bihar as well as the industry sector expressed strong disappointment over the way the state was “ignored”.
Bihar opposition leader and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav rejected the budget saying it contains nothing for the state and put the entire blame on chief minister Nitish Kumar for neglect of the state despite having “double engines”.
“The state got nothing despite promises of a special package and a special status. Nitish Kumar should tell us whether this is the double engine for him. It is because of him that the Centre is meting out step-motherly treatment to Bihar”, Tejashwi tweeted. He is son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
बजट में बिहार के लिए कुछ भी नहीं। बिहार को विशेष पैकेज और विशेष राज्य के दर्जे पर कुछ भी नहीं मिला। नीतीश कुमार बताए क्या यही उनके लिए डबल इंजन है? नीतीश जी की वजह से बीजेपी की केंद्र सरकार बिहार के साथ सौतेला व्यवहार कर रही है।
— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) February 1, 2018
The Congress described budget as a big setback for the state. “Bihar has got nothing in the budget. This is a big setback for the people of the state. For those who were expecting special category status to Bihar have their hopes totally dashed,” commented Congress spokesperson Premchand Mishra.
The CPI-ML described the budget as “anti-poor”. “The budget is silent on waiving loans to the farmers, growing unemployment, economic disparity etc,” said CPI-ML general secretary Deepankar Bhattacharya.
He also hit out at increase in health insurance cover for the poor saying it would ultimately benefit the private hospitals and insurance companies.
It would have been better if the healthcare system got strengthened by the government, rather than increasing the health insurance cover, he opined.
Industry people also expressed disappointment over the budget. “The people of Bihar particularly industrial sector were expecting announcement of some special scheme or special financial package but their hopes were dashed,” rued Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI) chairperson PK Agarwal.
He said the middle class people too were highly disappointed as no relaxation was given in the income tax slab.