India and Afghanistan’s relationship strained following the Taliban takeover.
The Taliban welcomed Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented 2013 budget, saying it helps to improve ties between India and Afghanistan.
The Taliban has appreciated the BJP government’s aid package of Rs 200 crore for war-torn Afghanistan in the Union Budget.
This is India’s second year of support after the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan. The initial announcement was made in the budget last year, according to Khaama Press.
“We appreciate India’s support for Afghanistan’s development. It will help to improve ties and trust between the two nations,” ANI quoted Suhail Shaheen, former Negotiations Team Member for the Taliban, said.
India’s relationship with Afghanistan strained after the Taliban came to power and the Indian projects in Afghanistan came to a halt. It may be recalled that India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to the former Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Whereas the Taliban had targeted Indian interests in Afghanistan.
India and the Taliban have no official diplomatic engagements.
Responding to it, Shaheen said, “There were various projects in Afghanistan which India was funding. If India resumes work on these projects, it will boost relations between the two countries and eliminate distrust,”
Union budget 2013 signalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP government’s intent to maintain stability while encouraging balanced economic growth. It seeks to build on the roadmap laid down by previous budgets, with a focus on inclusive development, fostering growth and job creation while keeping the macro-economy in a stable yet growth-oriented mode.
However, Opposition parties have criticised the budget by accusing the BJP government of presenting it keeping the polls in mind. “Overall, the Modi government has made life difficult for the people. The country’s economy has been deeply hurt. The Modi government has done nothing except loot the country’s wealth. This budget will be called ‘Naam Bade Aur Darshan Chhote Budget’ (big on announcements and short on delivery). The budget has been made with elections and not the country in mind,” ANI quoted Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge as saying.
Former FM P Chidambaram said that the budget shows that government is not bothered about the people and their concerns about lives and livelihood. “Finance Minister didn’t mention the words like unemployment, poverty, or inequality anywhere in her speech. Who has benefited from this Budget? Certainly, not the poor, not the youth looking desperately for jobs, not those who have been laid off, not the bulk of the taxpayers and not the homemakers,” he added.