New Delhi: Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha on Friday charged that the Union Budget serves the interests of capitalists that will help the rich turn richer and has nothing for the common man.
Participating in the debate on the Budget, leaders of parties like the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Aam Aadmi Party and the Left launched an all-out attack on the BJP government for allegedly selling off the country's assets and PSUs to big industrialists.
Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that the Budget helped the rich capitalists and was asking the poor, the oppressed and the downtrodden to become 'atmanirbhar' (self-reliant).
He alleged that the cess imposed by the government was an attempt by it to deprive the states of their share in taxes.
Gohil said Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently quoted his predecessor Manmohan Singh and Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, selectively, and out of context on the issue of farm reforms, and recalled that he, as Gujarat chief minister, had recommended a law to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers.
"The country is passing through a bad time due to decisions like demonetisation and GST (goods and services tax). The government is helping and supporting the big people and is asking the poor, the weaker and the downtrodden to become 'artmanirbhar'," Gohil alleged.
Binoy Biswam (Communist Party of India) charged that in the name of 'atmanirbhar', this budget is clearly helping the capitalists of the country.
"Is this the model of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' that you surrender everything to capitalists. This government can be called a government of FDI (foreign direct investment) for capitalists. Don't try to cheat people, as it is time they understood this," he alleged.
Biswam alleged that the government was selling everything from air to sea to land and even underground and is "blindly following" the capitalist model.
"The government is destroying the economy and is cheating the people," he alleged.
Ashok Siddharth (BSP) said there is nothing in this budget for the common man as it is trying to sell the country's assets and PSUs.
"This government wants the rich to turn richer and the poor poorer," he charged, adding that it is not fair to give away the rights of poor, dalits to industrialists.
The BSP member said the interests of Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes are being hurt the most through privatisation as there is no reservation in the private sector.
He said once the PSUs are sold to industrialists, there will be no reservation in them and dalits and the poor will suffer the most.
He called upon the government to bring a law to enforce reservation for SC/ST/OBC in the private sector.
Sanjay Singh (AAP) charged that the government was selling off everything to private companies and big industrialists.