Bengal budget 2024-25 has Santa Claus syndrome: Former CEA

Ashok Kumar Lahiri. /IANS

Kolkata, Feb 8 (IANS) West Bengal’s budget proposals for the financial year 2024-25 seems to having ‘Santa Claus’ syndromes, which allure people in an election year at the cost of pushing the states’ economy towards total destruction, said former Chief Eeconomic Advisor to the Union government and BJP legislator from the state, Ashok Kumar Lahiri.

Reacting to the budget proposals presented on the floor of the Assembly on Thursday, Lahiri told mediapersons that although the budget speech talks about a number of dole schemes, it does not show any positive indication in improving state finance indices like industrial and infrastructure development, employment generation and enhanced state revenue generation.

“It is a totally election-oriented budget aimed at handing over dolls to some people to get their votes. That is why I am saying that this budget has Santa Claus syndromes,” Lahiri said.

Seconding him, the leader of opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, said the proposal for increasing the monthly dole amount to Rs 1,000 for general category women under ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’, the monthly dole scheme for women in the state, is mere eyewash.

“The women in Assam get a monthly amount of Rs 2,500,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state government has announced so many welfare proposals even in the midst of immense financial difficulties where the Union government is holding back the legitimate dues to the state government.

“The Union government is not releasing dues under each and every Centrally-sponsored scheme, including MGNREGA and PMAY. But I am determined to ensure that the beneficiaries under these schemes are not deprived.

“Just as the state government has decided to pay the beneficiaries under the MGNREGA scheme, we are also ready to pay those under the PMAY scheme,” she said.

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