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Budget’s focus on selling national assets: Akali Dal

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Chandigarh, Feb 1, 2021-
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said the Union Budget was anti-farmer, anti-poor and anti-common man and that the sole focus of the BJP-led Central government was on selling national assets to its corporate friends.

Reacting to the Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he said it had also punished Punjabis for supporting the peaceful agitation against the three agricultural laws with nothing being earmarked for the state.

Badal said that at a time when there was a need to increase direct benefit transfers to farmers as well as under privileged sections of society, the NDA government was focusing on disinvesting public sector undertakings (PSUs).

“This will give a further boost to crony capitalism as corporate players are set to buy these PSUs at dirt cheap prices,” the SAD leader added.

Asserting that the Central government must move away from presenting electoral budgets which catered solely to specific states which were going to the polls, Badal said, “this will lead to haphazard development and is not in national interest”.

He also asked the government to move away from hype with words like ‘digital budget’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar’, saying “the situation is very different on the ground. A large section of people, including farmers, poor and the middle class have not even been covered by the current budget”.

Earlier in the day, the SAD President along with party MP and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal registered a strong protest in the Lok Sabha in Delhi when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman got up to present the budget.

The SAD leaders demanded that the Prime Minister address the concerns of the farmers first, saying the ‘annadaata’ was not being heard despite protesting peacefully against the agricultural laws since months.

When this demand was not met, both party MPs staged a walkout. (Agency)

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