New Delhi: Following the announcement of the budget for the fiscal year 2024 25 the Congress party has strongly criticized the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government. According to Congress the governments policies in years have significantly undermined the principles of federalism.
P. Chidambaram, a leader from Congress and former Finance Minister argued that despite the Finance Ministers emphasis on 'minimum government' and 'maximum governance,' the actual implementation of this approach has eroded federalism. Chidambaram expressed concern about the decreased allocation of funds to state governments, which he believes has made local governing bodies like panchayats and municipalities ineffective. He highlighted their role in delivering services to a large portion of Indias population and lamented their lack of human and financial resources.
During a press conference Chidambaram stated that "the central government has significantly weakened federalism." He criticized the Finance Minister for focusing on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) without addressing important issues such as per capita income Indias ranking in global hunger index and widespread malnutrition, among children.
Furthermore Chidambaram highlighted that the Finance Minister did not adequately address the issue of inflation the current food inflation rate of 7.7%.
Chidambaram also expressed concerns about the governments claims of establishing educational and healthcare institutions contrasting them with the harsh reality of vacant teaching positions in central universities and a shortage of staff and equipment in new hospitals.
Chidambaram commented, "The budget allocation for health and education in 2024 25 is 1.8% and 2.5% of the total expenditure respectively. Such minimal expenditures make it extremely difficult to fulfill the promises made by the government."
Today Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister presented the Interim Budget 2024 in Lok Sabha with optimism that their commendable policies would secure a third consecutive term for BJP. Sitharaman emphasized that our nation has aspirations and takes pride in its present achievements while harboring hope for a bright future. She expressed anticipation for support, from people based on the governments accomplishments.