New Delhi | Opposition Congress leaders expressed disappointment at the interim budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, saying the government dresses up its failures as successes.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said what was "extremely worrying" was the increasing fiscal deficit because the numbers that have been presented by the finance minister clearly demonstrate that over Rs 18 lakh crore is the unfunded extent of the Union Budget, and "the number is going to increase over the next year".
"If you leave that aside for a moment, the rest of the budget speech was a mere grandstanding. It was like driving looking into the rear view mirror rather than looking ahead," he said.
Sitharaman tried to run down what happened 10 years ago, Tewari said, referring to the rule of the Congress-led UPA government.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor described the budget speech as "short" and "disappointing", and said this government has a "talent for dressing up its failures as successes".
"The budget speech was short and disappointing. There was very little of substance. Lot of issues not touched upon -- the incredibly high unemployment -- you cannot talk of empowering the youth when 45 per cent youth unemployment exists in the country," he told PTI.
Tharoor said there was absolutely no mention of any of the failures of the government.
"...was there anything about women...we are looking at a situation where declining female labour participation rate is a real factor and yet she talked about 'nari shakti'," he said.
Tharoor claimed that while Sitharaman talked about FDI, she did not acknowledge that FDI has gone down from 3.6 per cent in UPA's time to less than one per cent of GDP today.
"So, we have a real issue with this government's talent for dressing up its failures as successes," he said.