Resource centre on India's rural distress
 
 

Debate on Budget: Opposition targets govt on NREGS allocation, unemployment -Liz Mathew & Shalini Nair

-The Indian Express

Opposition members said it has no roadmap and does not address the serious issues of agrarian crisis and unemployment.

TARGETING THE Union Budget in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Opposition members said it has no roadmap and does not address the serious issues of agrarian crisis and unemployment. The ruling BJP members countered that the Budget has “everything to take the country to a $5 trillion economy in five years”.

On the second day of the debate on the Budget, RSP’s N K Premachandran questioned the government’s promise on growth of the economy. “The Economic Survey projects growth at 7%. You need to grow at the rate of 11% to achieve a goal of (becoming) a $3 trillion economy, which is impossible,” he said. He said the Budget did not address the unemployment issue and had reduced the allocation for MGNREGS. “To sum up, this Budget was full of sound, fury and poems in Tamil, Hindi and Urdu, but signifies nothing,” he said.

He said the Budget was “opaque and lacking transparency”, especially with regard to macro-economic issues. “What about fiscal deficit, revenue deficit, GDP of the country? The Budget speech is telecast live from Parliament, and citizens of the country have the right to know what the fiscal deficit of the country is. Corporate tax has reduced from 30% to 25%, what is the revenue loss? It is not disclosed in the Budget. What are the estimated earnings from the petrol and diesel hike or from the super-rich taxation? People have a right to know,” he said.

“There is serious concern regarding the data that’s coming from the central government. There is no statistical integrity in this government,” said TDP’s Ram Mohan Naidu.

DMK member A Raja said the Budget did not have any roadmap to show how the promises would be fulfilled. India is an agrarian-oriented economy, but this government believes that the real wealth creators are the corporates, he said. “This government relies exclusively on foreign investment,” he said, adding, “they believe the corporate world can create wealth” for the nation.

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