No steps to arrest economic slowdown: Isaac

‘Allocation for MGNREGS has come down to ₹73,000 crore from ₹1.11 lakh crore’

The Union Budget lacks measures to arrest the economic slowdown and accelerate growth, says Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac.

“The Economy Survey has stated that India’s GDP is expected to grow by 11.5 per cent in 2021-22. But, this Budget ensures that it is not going to happen. The 11.5 per cent GDP growth is total nonsense,” Dr. Isaac said responding to the Union Budget proposals here.

The Finance Minister said the Budget lacks initiatives to spur such high growth anticipated by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Our economy is not going to rebound to the pre-COVID-19 era with this budget,” the Finance Minister said.

The allocation for the agriculture sector and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) was less compared to last year’s.

“The allocation for the agriculture sector has gone down to ₹1.48 lakh crore from ₹1.54 lakh crore. The allocation for MGNREGS has come down to ₹73,000 crore from ₹1.11 lakh crore,” he said.

Dr. Isaac who was behind the KIIFB-funded model for mobilising resources for infrastructure works, said the announcement of ₹65,000 crore for National Highway development in the State was nothing new.

“The development of National Highways was announced earlier, and the amount will be taken as a loan by the National Highways Authority of India. Of the ₹1,957 crore allotted for the Phase II of the Kochi Metro, Centre will provide only its share of ₹338 crore. The State should provide an equal amount and rest will have to be taken as loan,” Dr. Isaac added.

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