CHENNAI: Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday called the Union Budget 2023-24 a disappointing one that did not inspire confidence among the poor and marginalised people.
Expressing remorse at the Budget not making allocation even for the proposed AIIMS in Madurai, Stalin said the people of the State were disappointed with the Budget not having any new project announcement for Tamil Nadu.
Budget for poll-bound, BJP ruled states
"The Budget has belied the expectations of the people at a time when the country was bouncing back from the impact of Covid. It appears to be a Budget for the BJP-ruled and election-bound states. The Budget, which has ignored the problem of unemployment and inflation, and fails to make constructive efforts to ensure the financial autonomy of the states has not inspired confidence among the poor and marginalised people of the nation. In short, it has only disappointed Tamil Nadu and its people as usual, " the Chief Minister said, in a statement issued late Wednesday.
Extend I-T changes to old tax regime
Describing the "welcome features" like establishment of nursing colleges in 157 existing medical colleges, interest free loans to states for capital expenditure and priority to infrastructure development as a consolation, Stalin said that the changes proposed in individual income tax payment under the new tax regime would only benefit a section of the people and hence the changes must be extended to the people subscribing to the old tax regime.
He also remarked that the Budget has deviated from the concept of it catering to all states by rejecting the proposal of states like TN, which sought an extension of GST compensation period by another two years, and allocating funds and schemes targeting election bound states.
Stating that the states would not realise the full benefits of capital loans owing to umpteen conditions imposed in availing them, the Chief Minister said that the scheme must facilitate states to avail capital loans to develop infrastructure as per their requirement, including replacement of old buses with new ones to encourage public transport.
Describing the Rs 10,000 crore budgetary allocation for Urban Infrastructure Development Fund as highly inadequate, he said that though the allocation for PM Housing Scheme has been increased from Rs 48,000 crore to Rs 79,500 crore, the Union government must increase the unit cost of a house and its contribution to the scheme in accordance with the rising costs as the existing formulae would cause financial burden to the states.
Cautioning that the proposed Results Based Financing of the Union government schemes on pilot basis would be exploited as a tool to deny the rightful share of financial resources to states, stalin asked the Union government to consult the states and implement it after suitable amending it to prevent such denial of fund sources to states.
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