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Callous disdain for the wasted lives of the poor

in a financial year to every adult in a household who is willing to do unskilled manual work. Hence, the MGNREGA provides a legal entitlement to work. The funds required for the purpose come from the Union Budget. If the funding is inadequate compared to the payments required for all those who work under this scheme, then it constitutes a legal violation by the Union government. This year, the budget allocation for 2019-2020 is Rs 60,000 crore for the

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Unkind cut in pension scheme: nothing for dependants -Basant Kumar Mohanty

cation. Contributory pension schemes usually ensure payments to dependant and unmarried children. However, the notification for the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan, announced in the interim Union Budget earlier this month, says: “After death of subscriber and his or her spouse, the corpus shall be credited back to the fund.” Economist Jean Dreze said that in contributory pension schemes, the subscriber’s dependants shoul

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No shortcuts to income guarantee -Harsh Mander

r the poor, and can be curtailed by a redistributive state. But most of all, as Oxfam reports, there is considerable scope in taxing the wealth of India’s super-rich dollar billionaires. If the Union Budgets simply start by ending just the tax holidays to private businesses (in terms of revenues forgone, to the tune of over Rs 5 trillion), they could fund far greater social spending, whether for income transfers, or health, education and social

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PM Fasal Bima Yojana is suffering from low coverage since the last 2 years

pped area under the scheme could not keep pace with the target that was set during the last two years. The Status of Implementation of Budget Announcements 2017-18, which was presented during the Union Budget 2018-19, clearly states that the coverage of the PMFBY would be increased from 30 percent of gross cropped area in 2016-17 to 40 percent in 2017-18, and further to 50 percent in the year 2018-19. Yet when a reply by the Minister of State

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Jobs and gloom -Jayan Jose Thomas

a may have worsened in the recent past, and the losses have been heavy for the informal sector. The delayed release of official data on employment only makes diagnosis difficult. This year’s Union Budget, even if truncated because of its interim nature, was widely anticipated for the manner in which it would address the question of employment. In the last week of January, two members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) quit, citing,

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How the 16th Lok Sabha fared -MR Madhavan

each House got an oral reply. Another notable event was the Speaker blaming unruly behaviour for her inability to count the required number of MPs demanding a no-confidence motion but allowing the Union Budget to be passed in the interim. There was a similar episode at the end of the 15th Lok Sabha when the Speaker was unable to conduct a no-confidence motion but let the House pass the Act to bifurcate the State of Andhra Pradesh. Key legislatio

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Rash U-turns, half-baked plans -Jean Dreze

hat it was time to rein in the welfare state. Until recently, the Modi government seemed to abide by that script. It showed little interest in social policy during the last five years. The 2015-16 Union Budget gave dramatic expression to this indifference, with deep cuts in allocations for many social programmes. True, these could be partly justified on the grounds that the states were receiving a higher share of the indivisible pool of taxes. But

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Apart from inconsistent data on coverage from different sources, target was not achieved in case of PMKSY-Per Drop More Crop

Advance Estimate of National Income 2018-19, released on 7 January, 2019, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, please click here to access Numbers That Count: An Assessment of the Union Budgets of NDA II -Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), February, 2019, please click here to access  Dashboard of PMKSY-Per Drop More Crop,   Lok Sabha Starred Question n

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144% More Funds For Agriculture, But Not Enough To Quell Farm Unrest - Nilachala Acharya

aratiya Janata Party (BJP) government--from Rs 57,600 crore in the 2018-19 budget estimates to Rs 1,40,764 crore in the interim budget. This took the share of the agriculture ministry in the total Union Budget to 5.2%, a benchmark succeeding governments will be compelled to match for political reasons. For context, the share has been around 2.3%-2.4% since 2014-15, when the BJP came to power. However, this unprecedented hike in allocation will b

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Who will pay for sops? -Arun Kumar

-The Indian Express Government’s claim that structural changes to the economy are paying off, and that is being used to give back to the people, is problematic. The Interim Union Budget 2019 is no less than a full budget with changes in taxation and announcement of lucrative schemes for various sections of the population. The recent losses in three major assembly elections rang alarm bells for the ruling dispensation. With the general e

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