New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Friday called the Interim Budget 2019 a damp squib. He said, “We’ve seen one good thing; that is, tax exemption for the middle class. Rs 6,000 in income support for farmers boils down to Rs 500 per month. Is that supposed to enable them to live with the honour and dignity?”

Tharoor was attacking the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme that was announced by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal earlier in the day. As per the scheme, the Rs 6,000 would be disbursed in three instalments and would be transferred directly to farmers’ bank accounts.

“This initiative will benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmers, at an estimated cost of Rs 75,000 crore, this will enable farmers to earn a respectable living,” Goyal had said.

Apart from this sum, another Rs 20,000 crore has been set aside in the revised estimates for the current year 2018-19.

Goyal said all farmers will get Kisan Credit Cards. For the welfare of farmers and for doubling their income, Goyal said, “a historic decision was taken to increase MSP by 1.5 times the production cost for all 22 crops”.

Later, dismissing all naysayers, Goyal said, “Those sitting in AC rooms cannot understand the plight of the small farmers. Keeping this in mind, we have introduced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. This is a historic decision.”