Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 1 (IANS): Kerala's ruling CPI-M-led LDF and the opposition Congress-led UDF on Wednesday slammed the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, but the state BJP hailed it as a revolutionary one which will spur growth in the country.
State Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal, who will be presenting his third budget on Friday, said there is nothing in it for Kerala.
"It's a disappointing day for Kerala as there is practically nothing and what's most surprising is in the various Central schemes, we have practically got nothing and the allocation from the divisive pool of the Centre also is appallingly poor. Overall things are disappointing," he said, adding that nothing beyond the usual rhetoric, there is nothing at all.
Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said apart from the regular juggling of figures there is nothing in it.
"The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has been strangulated and there is nothing in for those who have lost everything during the pandemic. There is nothing in it for the small scale industries, farmers, or the self-employed. Nothing is there also for the unemployed. It's a depressing one," the Congress leader said.
On the other hand, state BJP President K.Surendran said the budget has touched every sector and will spur growth in the country.
"Pedal will be put on the development engine and it will spur growth as a staggering Rs 10 lakh crores has been earmarked for infrastructure development which in turn will create huge employment opportunities," he said.
Leading bankers in Kerala hailed the 'pro-growth' budget saying the key proposals in the budget will prop up the overall economic growth significantly.
They feel that the infrastructure-led push in capital expenditure in the budget along with increasing the income tax exemption to Rs 7 lakh per annum under the new tax regime will spur demand and employment simultaneously.
Federal Bank Ltd Group President and Chief Financial Officer Venkatraman Venkateswaran said the budget is an infrastructure spending oriented budget with 7 priorities set by the FM.
"The budget unveiled tax cuts and set the virtuous cycle of job creation. Out of the overall growth agenda, specifically looking at banking sector, there are two major proposals. First, on agricultural credit, the target is hiked to Rs 20 lakh crore, which will help drive rural growth. Additionally, the revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs, with infusion of Rs 9,000 crore into the corpus, will enable additional collateral free credit guarantee of Rs 2 lakh crore," he said.
South Indian Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Murali Ramakrishnan said opening of new PM Jan Dhan accounts this year will benefit common man in a big way.
"Effective implementation of schemes like opening of 47.8 crore PM Jan Dhan bank accounts will benefit common citizens. With the establishment of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), we expect infrastructure in tier 2 and tier 3 cities receiving a significant boost," he said.