Budget 2018: Keeping in mind the Lok Sabha polls due next year, the Centre has presented an “election budget” and it had to take “desperate measures” following criticism over the GST, note ban and the Gujarat polls results, Shiv Sena leaders said today. “This is a budget for the election. Hence, the focus has been shifted from industries to farmers, healthcare and education,” Sena MP Arvind Sawant told PTI. He added that the Sena had aggressively been demanding that farmers, who had lost their produce due to climate change, be compensated and their loans waived. “I have personally been pursuing the cause of quality education and healthcare for the masses, which the government has realised only now,” Sawant said.
Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande claimed that the Centre had taken “desperate” measures, following criticism over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout, demonetisation and the BJP’s reduced numbers in the Gujarat Assembly polls. “It seems like an election budget that tries to please everybody. The government had faced flak over GST and note ban and after the Gujarat polls, where the BJP barely managed to scrape through, it had to take desperate measures,” she said.
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Kayande further said that while the Centre talked about a decreasing inflation, it should tell the country the reasons behind the “all-time high” fuel prices. “Similarly, millions of people are attached to the banking sector. However, the bank service charges are only increasing. Where is the relief for the common man? Where should the common man invest?” she asked.
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Kayande also said that the women were hoping for a reduction in the GST rates on sanitary napkins, but that did not happen.