SRINAGAR: National Conference on Tuesday described the Budget 2021-22 as visionless and bereft of any stimulus package for the country’s poor to overcome the COVID-19 induced economic distress.
The country’s poor has been ignored in the budget, said party’s Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar while expressing dismay over lack of incentives in the budget for small scale industries, tourism sector, farmers and worker class.
“The MSME sector provides jobs to more people in one way or other than the public and other private sector enterprises. It also absorbs millions of skilled and unskilled laborers. The sector has taken a major hit since the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced in the country. It was expected that the government would provide a stimulus to the ailing sector. Unfortunately, it has chosen to ignore it. It was expected that the government would embark on a mission of a speedy and effective post-Covid-19 recovery plan,” he said.
He said the yearly financial statement wasn’t supposed to be an ordinary one, rather it was meant to be special to help the country’s poor tide over the difficulties induced by the COVID-19 lockdown. “The major theme of this budget has been the “sellout” of major PSUs and nothing else. The yearly deficit is at an all-time low. The budget does not offer anything substantial for creating more jobs in the private sector as well. Farming and allied sectors have been relegated to triviality,” he added.
Alluding to J&K, he said the budget offers nothing new to J&K and the old initiatives were being resold in new rapping. “The proposed gas pipeline was first announced in 2011. The provision of cess on agriculture and horticulture will further aggravate the woes of horticulturalists in Jammu and Kashmir, who are already suffering from losses due to weather vagaries and subsequent clampdown and lockdown. The cess introduced by the ruling BJP will increase inflation of food items and aggravate the plight of already stressed farmers of the country,” he said.
He said the real issues concerning the people in Jammu and Kashmir have been put into cold storage by the ruling BJP. “The much-touted Rs. 80,000 Cr package announced by the GOI for J&K is yet to see the light of the day. There has been no headway on Jhelum flood mitigation plan or up-gradation of Mughal road. The work on central university and AIIMS is facing inordinate delay as well. The CU of Kashmir continues to work from rented buildings. There is nothing for the ailing tourism, manufacturing, handicraft and handloom sectors of Kashmir,” he said.