The Union Budget 2023-24, presented in the Parliament on Wednesday, received mixed reactions from political leaders across party lines. The increase in the income tax rebate limit from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh was welcomed by some, but criticized by others for failing to address the issues of unemployment and inflation in the country.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the Budget as “anti-people” and “totally opportunistic”. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called it a “sarvajan hitai” (for everybody’s welfare). Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Delhi had been given “step-motherly” treatment, while Congress leader Shashi Tharoor noted that there were “some good things” in the Budget, but some fundamental questions remained unanswered. Union Minister Smriti Irani referred to it as a “middle-class bonanza budget”, while former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said there has been little change in the Union Budget over the past 8-9 years. Congress leader K Suresh called it a “pro-corporate” budget and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati said the budget should be for the country, not just for the party.