Budget: Election Stunt or a Winner? Watch Tharoor vs Chandrasekhar

The Modi government presented its sixth and final Budget on 1 February. 

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With the Modi government having presented its sixth and final budget on Friday, 1 February, all eyes are now on how it would set the political agenda ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due by May.

The interim Budget presented by interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal made several key announcements, including the full tax rebate to individual taxpayers earning an annual income up to Rs 5 lakh and a direct income support of Rs 6,000 annually to vulnerable farmers.

Speaking on the income tax relief, Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor said it makes sense to implement such a measure, but added:

“You’re looking at a government which has been dipping its hands into the pockets of the middle class for the last three years. They’re really giving back to the middle class what they’ve taken away with the other hand.”
Shashi Tharoor to BloombergQuint

As far as Rs 6,000 direct income support for the farmers is concerned, Tharoor asserted that it's not a minimum income guarantee, while also pointing out how the government has excluded certain sections of the population.

“It boils down to 500 Rs a month. And nobody is going to be able to live meaningfully with honour and dignity... on 500 Rs a month. What the Congress party is talking about is a real minimum income... (What we’ve announced) is purely a poverty-alleviation measure. “
Shashi Tharoor to Bloomberg Quint

Countering Tharoor's claims on the farmers' scheme, BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar asserted that it was an income support programme, and not an income programme.

“Income support is an element of transition support till the income of farmers will double as the PM has laid out as an objective for his government.”
Rajeev Chandrashekhar to BloombergQuint

Chandrasekhar also said this is not a Budget that has to be seen as an election Budget.

"This is the sixth Budget of a five-year term government. This Budget is not inconsistent with what the previous budgets have been. This Budget is in continuum to the last five budgets. It has addressed the middle-class because in the last five years, the middle class has borne the brunt of the spending programmes of the government for the poor in all of its schemes," he said.

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Topics:  Shashi Tharoor   Budget Session   Budget 

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