West Bengal Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya Wednesday dubbed the union budget “anti-poor” and said no steps or measures were announced to bring down inflation.
Bhattacharya, minister of state (independent charge) for finance, said the difference between the old and new regime tax structures do not make sense as on the one hand it claims to provide concessions and on the other there are no measures to control inflation.
“First of all there should have been steps to bring down inflation in the country. But there is no such measure in the union budget. On the one hand you (Centre) claim to have provided concessions through tax rebates, on the other hand there are no ways to cut down inflation. So it makes no sense as the price index will go up,” she told PTI in an exclusive video interaction.
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Speaking on the general budget which announced a revamped credit guarantee scheme for MSMEs through infusion of Rs 9,000 crore, Bhattacharya said BJP leaders themselves used to claim there is no future in the MSME sector.
“The party’s (BJP) people used to say nothing can be done in the MSME sector. It is a path shown by our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We (West Bengal) are the pioneering state which has witnessed heavy growth in the MSME sector. Now the union finance minister is following it in the union budget,” she said.
Speaking on the new tax rules, the minister said the new structure will not yield desired results of providing relief as long as inflation does not come down.
“The union government has claimed that the tax structure will benefit the common people, but it will not. There is a difference between the old regime and the new regime’s taxing structure. As no steps were taken to bring down inflation, there is no relief and both (concession and inflation) do not go together,” she said.
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Later, Bhattacharya talking to reporters termed the budget “anti people” and “anti poor” and said it has” literally no takeaways for the common people and the poor”.
On Wednesday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweaked the slabs to provide relief to the middle class by announcing that no tax will be levied on annual income of up to Rs seven lakh under the new tax regime.
She also allowed taxpayers a Rs 50,000 standard deduction under the new regime, where assesses canot claim deductions or exemptions on their investments.
She also tweaked the concessional tax regime, originally introduced in 2020-21, by hiking the tax exemption limit by Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh and reducing the number of slabs to five.