Budget 2023: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her 5the Union Budget in the Parliament on Wednesday (February 1) calling it the first budget of ‘Amrit Kaal’. The budget is politically crucial as it is the last full-fledged budget ahead of Lok Sabha elections slated to be held in 2024. As happens every year the ruling establishment calls the budget revolutionary and the Opposition terms it disappointing but it is also a fact that the budget does offer something or the other to every state.
Here’s how states reacted to the budget.
Kerala: The Union Budget evoked mixed reactions among various stakeholders in Kerala as travel and tourism industry players welcomed the annual exercise, while small and medium-scale traders felt it ignored the sector.
Terming the proposals of the budget, as excellent, EM Najeeb, president, Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry, said the budget would do a lot of positive things in the coming years. “Tourism has been mentioned in the beginning of the budget itself as one of the pillars for the growth engine for employment generation as well as increase in tourism activities in both domestic and international sectors,” said Najeeb, also the senior vice-president, Indian Association of Tour Operators.
Sharing similar views, Jose Pradeep, secretary, Kerala Travel Mart Society, said the budget holds immense promise for the growth of the tourism sector. The government has decided to take tourism promotion on a mission mode with active participation of the State and the convergence of government programmes and the public-private partnerships would help tap the potential of the sector, he said.
“Investment of Rs 2.4 lakh crore in the railway sector, along with the development of 50 additional airports throughout the country, will greatly improve connectivity, making it easier for tourists to explore our country,” he told PTI. In addition, 50 tourism destinations would be selected through a challenge mode and developed as a comprehensive package for domestic and international tourism, he said adding that this would help promote destinations as worldclass tourist attractions, and draw more visitors. Pradeep said the changes made in the personal income tax would be beneficial to tourism.
Turning to financial inclusion, Adeeb, who has significant investments in financial services sector in the form of LuLu Forex and LuLu Finserv – an NBFC providing micro loans, said the move to ramp up the credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs would give a fillip to enabling faster access to financial services. But, the Confederation of All India Traders criticised the budget by saying it has ignored the small- and medium-scale traders who are the foundation of the economy. P Venkitarama Iyer, State president of the Confederation, said it was condemnable that there was no mention of any welfare scheme for over eight crore small- and medium-scale traders and no announcement of any change in the existing GST rules.
Delhi: The ruling Aam Aadmi Party questioned Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s claim about doubling of per capita income since 2014, saying it is ‘Amrit Kaal’ for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, not for the common people of the country.
“Neither did the MSP of crops increase nor did the youth get employment. But this is Amrit Kaal for Modi ji.
Nirmala ji is saying per capita income has doubled,” AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, who is also the party’s national spokesperson, said in a series of tweets in Hindi, wondering “whose income” doubled.
The AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha termed the budget “most lacklustre” and said it is bereft of “any effort or serious application of mind”.
“It sounded like a budget presented by a minority government with its hands tied rather than a government with a brute majority,” he tweeted.
Karnataka: Poll-bound state got Rs 5,300 crore aid for Upper Bhadra project. “Accolades to FM Nirmala Sitharaman for an empowering & growth-oriented budget under Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi Ji with a focus on 7 areas – inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure & investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power and financial sector,” tweeted Chief Minister BS Bommai. Several BJP leaders, including National General Secretary C T Ravi and state party chief Nalin Kumar Kateel praised the budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha, calling it “farsighted and pro poor”.
Also Read: Budget 2023: Govt increases income tax rebate to Rs 7 lakh per annum | 5 major announcements
(With PTI input)