The West Bengal government described the Union budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament today as "anti-people" and claimed that allocations for some major centrally sponsored schemes have been reduced.
"This is an anti-people budget as allocations for some major centrally sponsored schemes have been reduced," state Finance Minister Amit Mitra told reporters at the secretariat.
Mitra said allocations under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) had been reduced by 22.14 per cent, 50 per cent fall in allocations under ICDS and 12 per cent decline under National Livelihood Mission.
He also said there had been no increase in allocations under schemes like PMGSY, for secondary education and health.
"This shows that the budget has not considered the interests of the common man and students," Mitra said.
Referring to increase in devolution of funds by the Centre from 32 per cent to 42 per cent and aggregation of all central grants, grants-in-aid and additional central assistance given to states, Mitra said in last year’s budget it amounted to 61.88 per cent.
But Jaitley today said the aggregation post increased devolution of funds would touch 62 per cent, he said.
"Last year it was 61.88 per cent and next fiscal it would be 62 per cent. It is a bluff," he said.
Asked to comment on special assistance to West Bengal (and also Bihar) as announced in the budget, Mitra said "it is not clear and also not sure whether it will come at all".
He said Jaitley had mentioned that such assistance would be in the lines given to Andhra Pradesh in the past.
Mitra said Andhra Pradesh had got a special assistance of Rs 850 crore only.
"This a paltry amount since the Centre takes away Rs 28,000 crore straightaway from the state exchequer for servicing of debt," Mitra said.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would surely raise the issue of debt waiver when she is given an appointment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which had been sought, he said.