Last Updated: February 02, 2023, 08:02 IST
Calling Union Budget 2023 a “disappointment”, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday alleged that the state was “neglected” by the Centre, with no attention having been paid to demands such as special status and a special package of Rs 20,000 crore.
“The budget is disappointing and lacks vision. Every year, the priorities of the budget are changed and these remain unfulfilled because of a loss of focus and lack of sufficient funds,” Kumar said in a written statement on the budget late on Wednesday evening.
The JD(U) leader, who dumped the BJP in August last year and has since been pitching for a “united opposition” for the Lok Sabha polls next year, also said “Bihar has been once again neglected and our demand for special status has been ignored. Inclusive growth will remain a distant dream unless poor states are developed.”
The Chief Minister also rued that the special package, the request for which was made by the state at the pre-budget meeting of state finance ministers, was ignored.
“There is no concrete roadmap for employment generation. Borrowing limit for states has not been increased even though a memorandum to the effect had been submitted (to the Centre),” he added.
Kumar, the longest-serving chief minister of Bihar, further berated the seven priorities that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke of in her budget, giving these the name ‘Saptarshi’.
“This is just repackaging of existing central schemes,” Kumar said dismissively, and claimed the seven priorities “follow the pattern of saat nishchay (seven resolves) that we introduced in 2016 as the guiding principle of schemes to be introduced and implemented by the government in the state”.
He added that schemes under ‘Saptarshi’ have been announced “without adequate funding provisions”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, reacting to the Union budget, said the BJP government at the Centre has once again “cheated the people of Bihar”.
He alleged that promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained unfulfilled.
“When the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, the Narendra Modi government had promised that farmers’ income would double, they promised to provide 80 crore jobs by 2022. Now, the year 2023 has arrived but their habits of ‘jumlebaazi’ did not go,” he tweeted.
“Bihar has given 100 per cent MPs to BJP and its alliance partners, but they have cheated the people of Bihar,” the RJD leader added.
(With PTI inputs)
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