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Budget is against poor, favours corporates: Chidambaram
Saturday February 28, 2015 10:25 PM, IANS

Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram Saturday slammed the Union budget saying it was against the poor, had "cruel cuts" in allocations for weaker sections and favoured corporates.

Chidambaram told reporters here that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had left the economy on way to recovery but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had not acknowledged this in his budget speech.

"Unfortunately, the government refused to acknowledge the fact," Chidambaram said.

He said the additional borrowing by the government will not go in plan expenditure but in non-plan expenditure.

"Quality of a government is how much it is able to account for plan (expenditure)," he said.

He said the way the government "had bid goodbye to Planning Commission" it may "bid goodbye to plan itself".

Chidambaram said the budget had "cruel cuts" in allocations for the weaker sections.

He said allocations under some programmes such as scheduled caste sub plan, integrated child development services and national social assistance programme had come down compared to the current fiscal.

"There have been unjust cuts in these programmes. What is the government's leaning," Chidambaram asked.

He said the government's response to the poor seems to be that they should wait for growth to pick up and its effects to trickle down and fend for themselves till then.

"It goes against the ethos of the country. You must lean in favour of the poor. We do not find (that)," he said.

Chidambaram said poor sections do not get any relief in the budget but will be paying more taxes.

He said the budget was in favour of corporates and beginning next year, the corporate sector is slated to get a relief of Rs.20,000 crore every year.

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