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Union Budget 2017: Nothing To Get Excited About, Says Shashi Tharoor

Reacting to Union Budget 2017 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Congress MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor told News18.com that he did not find anything extraordinary in the budget to get excited about and the agricultural policies were just a continuation of the UPA schemes. Expressing disappointment , he said that no measure has been announced to battle the grave issue of black money demonetisation.

Gurleen Nagpal | News18.com

Updated:February 7, 2017, 4:09 PM IST
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Congress leader Shashi Tharoor slammed the government for the ambiguity of some claims and plans that were laid out as part of the Budget 2017 speech by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Criticising Finance Minister's deviation from his earlier fiscal consolidation roadmap, Tharoor saw pegging of fiscal deficit at 3.2 percent of GDP for 2017-18, up from the earlier target of 3 percent, as a macroeconomic miss.

Reacting to Union Budget 2017, the former Union minister told News18.com that he did not find anything extraordinary in the budget to get excited about and the agricultural policies were just a continuation of the UPA schemes.

Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of doublespeak, Tharoor, the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram said, "It was amusing for us, having seen them attacking us on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Prime Minister saying it is a monument to government failure, and now they are taking credit for expanding it and funding it more," he said.

He also added liberalisation of FDI, which was one of the announcements of Budget 2017, to the list of issues the BJP had opposed the UPA on while in Opposition.

Commenting on the dream of moving towards a digitised economy and society, he said that unless serious measures are taken to roll out a credible optical fibre network, and improvised broadband, it will be extremely "difficult" to provide people with enough connectivity to go digital.

Tharoor also slammed the government for no announcements on the road map to attack the sources of black money.

"Some borrowed ideas that are good, some new ideas that may be good but are yet to be tested, some slogans that have not been matched by reality, and some numbers that don't fully add up," he said, summarising the Budget in a line.

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