NEW DELHI – In a country grappling with poverty, sluggish growth and a daunting deficit, India's new budget has set aside 2 billion rupees ($33 million) for a colossal iron-and-bronze statue almost twice the size of the Statue of Liberty.
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The plans in Thursday's budget for a 182-meter (nearly 600 feet)-tall replica of Indian independence leader Vallabhbhai Patel caused an outcry, with many people saying the country has far more urgent priorities.
Others lamented how the budget earmarks more money for the Patel statue than for women's safety nationwide, which got 1.5 billion rupees ($25 million), or the education of young girls at 1 billion rupees ($16.5 million).
It was the first budget of a new government elected on promises to revive stalled economic growth.