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Union Budget 2008-09  »   Story
Lalu accused of presenting parochial, discriminatory Budget
Press Trust of India
New Delhi, February 26, 2008
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Railway Minister Lalu Prasad came under attack from friends and foes alike for presenting a "parochial" and "discriminatory" Railway Budget for 2008-09 amid claims that the "UPA train" has met with a serious accident ahead of polls.

"The express train of UPA before going to elections has met with serious accident," Samajwadi Party leader Mohan Singh said reacting to the Budget.

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj described the exercise as "totally discriminatory against the BJP ruled states, especially Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh".

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta was more caustic as he wondered whether the exercise was carried out by Finance Minister P Chidambaram or Prasad.

Dasgupta said it was a Budget for affluent middle class and there was no benefit given for travellers in local trains and monthly ticket holders. "We are totally opposing the Budget", he said.

"It is a parochial Budget. The new trains are going between Patna and Chennai", his party colleague Sudhakar Reddy said, adding that it was an "imbalanced" Budget.

Reddy, as also Dasgupta, alleged that the fifth consecutive Railway Budget presented by Prasad addressed more to the affluent class than the common man.

Mohan Singh, as also BJD's Brajkishore Mohanty and Swaraj, said the Budget neglected several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Gujarat.

"The walkout of members from all sides from the Lok Sabha has exposed the hollowness of Lalu Prasad's Railway Budget", BJP Deputy leader V K Malhotra said dubbing it as a "disappointing" Budget.

Sector Analysis
Negotiating a rough patch
Demand growth is expected to be buoyant driven by new vehicle launches, likely softening of interest rates and continued growth on the export front.
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Railway Budget
Lalu presents people's budget, slashes fares
The minister announced launch of several new trains and reduction in fares across all classes amid chaos by Opposition in Parliament.
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A budget for Bharat
Buoyant tax revenues a lower fiscal deficit and an economy that's in top gear permit the FM to pump big money into agriculture and the social sector. Those efforts might help at the hustings, too.
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Economic Survey
'Expand telecom infrastructure, R&D'
"With rapid growth of telecom network, there is a need to further expand the infrastructure and research and development," the survey said.
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Surfers' comments
This is a very good budget, especially for agriculture and education. P Chidambaram is the best.
- By Saravanan P (
If you can waive Rs 50,000 crore for farmers what about the tax on housing loan interest? That should also have been reduced.
- Chandra Shekar V (
Please tax the street hawkers and give relief to the salaried persons.
- Rajaram (
This is the worst budget the finance minister has ever presented. The backbone of the country's economy is the transport but he completely missed it out.
- Jayakaanthan A (
The budget is sure to augment growth and will also lessen the volatility of the stock markets.
- Sidharth Paul (
Overall, the budget is satisfactory but the health sector should have been given greater importance.
- Ankit Chaudhary (
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Editorial: Predictably populist budget
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Exclusive interview with the FM
Maintaining the growth story
The Finance Minister defends Budget 2008 and the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver doled out to farmers in an exclusive interview to Business Today's Sanjoy Narayan and R Sridharan.
"Total reduction of excise duties by 2% will give a welcome boost to the manufacturing sector. Also, the exemption of specified parts of set-top boxes from customs duties is commendable".
- Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises
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Beginner’s guide to budget
Union Budget is an estimate of the Government of India's revenue and expenditure for the end of a particular fiscal year, which usually runs from April 1 to March 31. Read on...
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