Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government’s Union Budget promise to double famers’ income by 2022 was not a feasible one, PTI reported on Friday. The plan will remain a “hollow assurance” until India achieves a 12% growth rate, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad quoted Singh as saying.
The former finance minister and senior economist said the budget had several flaws. “I do not think I can blame the Budget for being motivated by scoring points in elections, but the fiscal arithmetic is at fault,” Singh told NDTV. “This budget is high on projecting a bright picture, but how will that be sustained [by the underlying the fiscal arithmetic].” Budget 2018 was the National Democratic Alliance government’s last full-year budget before the general elections in 2019.
“How will you meet the Minimum Support Price plus 50 [promise],” Singh said while questioning Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s proposal to increase the crop price for farmers to one-and-a-half times the production cost.