Friday, 2 February 2018
The following statement was issued to press today on budget by Ms. Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)
NDA government budget fails to address the concerns of common man, unemployed and vulnerable sections.
The NDA Govt. budget presented by Finance Minister was more of a jugglery of words, manipulation of statistics and deceitful way of putting things to sell dreams once again without backing of concrete steps and actions needed to implement the statement of ‘intent’ made.
The Finance Minister ended with quote from Swamy Vivekanand but his budget was just opposed to what Swamy ji wanted India to emerge from as a powerful nation of working people to full fill their aspirations, and attain a life of dignity.
The budget once again gives huge concessions to the corporates and big businesses including on focus to foreign investments, and continued disinvestments of Public sector units to the tune of Rs. 80000 crores in the coming year. The Govt wants to be satisfied with certificate from International Monetary fund for the growth estimates, as the Govt once again appeared to be committed to tag India’s economy with International finance capital. Ease of Business continued to be the keyword.
Several heads were amalgamated & repeated across various projects while duplicating to show huge amounts of allocations which is far from truth. On the one hand side 100 percent FDI is being brought in animal husbandry and on the other side it is nearly lip service made in the budget to this sector & fisheries.
The Govt had failed to fulfill its election promise to raise income of farmers by one & half times and once again the lollypop is distributed on similar promise. Nothing serious emerged how to tackle agrarian crises which is accepted even by Economic Survey Report. Only grant of the loan limits are increased, from ten lakh crores to eleven lakh crores how to take farmers out of indebtedness is no where in sight. The amount announced is meager for creation of farmer markets and irrigation.
While speaking on Education, health & basic amenities it seemed the Finance Minister is addressing only the upper middle class, elites and not the vulnerable common man which constitutes more than 80% of population. Black board to digital board is talked but those who do not have black boards in schools or those who have no access to black boards are not in the agenda of government.
Some adjectives are added as usual to SC & ST population with inflated figures of four years as if it is for the year 2018 - 2019. The population figure is presented to appear as if all of them are going to hugely benefit.
The medical colleges are only the upgradation of existing ones, but are projected as if new colleges are coming out. Announcements on RSBY are made which would enhance the business of private hospitals and private insurance companies. But public health system is not addressed, even when health care is becoming out of reach of common man.
Cess is being increased on Education & Health which will further add to indirect taxation on common man. On the other side the tax concessions to corporate and big business continued in this budget also.
70 lakh jobs were lost after demonetization and Govt. is talking of creating only 17 lakh jobs. Another six crores of people are expected to loose livelihood in informal sector according to independent surveys &
17 lakhs formal jobs to be further lost says the same survey.
Talking of railways and airways, concern and needs of vast majority of people of public transportation are not addressed, once again the FM was playing to the gallery of elites and affluents.
The budget dodged the common people who are in misery due to price rise in essential commodities and the students youth of India who want good inexpensive education in govt. sector and the employment to live with dignity.
Released from AITUC headquarters
35-36, DDU Marg, Road Rouse Avenue, New Delhi
THE UNION BUDGET 2018-19: ANTI-PEOPLE ANTI-WORKER AND DECEPTIVE
The Union Budget 2018-19, presented by the Finance Minister of the Narendra Modi Govt today on a preliminary scrutiny, turns out to be deceptive one, meticulously articulated to misguide and confuse the people. The Budget is anti-workers, anti-people and also militates against the national interest. CITU condemns such an anti-people exercise.
The Budget remained liberal about extending concession to business houses. On the plea of supporting Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) the Budget extended the reduced corporate tax rate of 25% to companies having Rs 250 crore annual turnover. Is the turnover the right measure of identifying an MSME or the ‘capital deployed’ should categorise the MSME more honestly ? Will it really benefit the genuine MSMEs or allow the big players to corner the benefit ? However through such deceptive manner the burden on corporate houses has been reduced further by Rs 7000 crore while giving no relief to suffering millions reeling under post GST indirect tax burden. This along with other pro-corporate policy drives continued to remain the pattern of budget exercise of the Modi Govt in successive years of its governance pushing the entire country in the midst of extreme and obscene income inequality of one percent people cornering 73% of the national wealth. And yet the Govt will continue to call itself pro-poor.
Budget speech made no mistake in mentioning its resolve to extend the atrocious “fixed term employment” system to all the sectors consistent with its brazenly anti-worker pro-corporate drive for labour-law changes designed to impose slavery on the workers. While speaking lavishly about improving health, education and social welfare services toward universalisation, it remained totally negative in considering the long standing demands of about a crore workers working in its flagship scheme of NHM, Mid-day-Meal(MDM) and ICDS (Anganwadi) and other related central govt schemes of extending them at least the right to statutory minimum wages and attendant social security benefits. In fact the allocation under National Health Mission (NHM) has been reduced and on ICDS and MDM there are marginal increase that too for other expenditures. Such an attitude is utterly condemnable.
On employment generation also, the claim made in the budget speech is also not true. In fact, even as per official estimate, the net employment generation has turned negative in absolute term if job-losses owing to closure of factories/establishments during the period is taken into account. The claim of creation of 70 lakh jobs in the formal sector said to be based on the increase in number of EPFO data as touted by a so called “independent study” upheld by the Finance Minister is another hoax to confuse and misguide the people and a cruel joke on the several lakhs of unemployed. Rather every step of this Modi Govt is degenerating the employment situation in the country; and all concessions being given to business houses by the Govt including bearing the burden of employers contribution in EPF, allowing liberal income tax rebate to employers on account of wages paid to the newly employed workers etc is actually an arrangement of organized pilferage from the national exchequer
by the employers’ class in complicity with the custodians of the said exchequer, without creating any employment whatsoever. Added to this has been the recent move of abolishing all posts in central govt establishment deliberately kept vacant for last five years, killing lakhs of employment positions.
The Budget speech has gone extremely lavish in pronouncing commitments for development of agriculture and rural development along with launching so many schemes, whereas budgetary allocation for 2018-19 both on account of Agriculture and Allied Services and Rural Development marked a marginal increase of Rs 9793 crore in nominal term meaning actually a decline both in real terms and also as a percentage of GDP and total budgetary allocations. The Budget gave a shockingly surprising news that the Govt has already implemented the Minimum Support Price (MSP) at the rate of one and half times of production cost for majority of the Rabi Crops and now the Govt is committed to extend the same to Kharif crops in the current year also which is totally untrue. Even Govt’s deposition before the Apex Court in this matter is reportedly negative.
Similarly, the budgetary statement about putting in place under its flagship programme of National Health protection Scheme to provide for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization at the rate of Rs 5 lakh per family per year to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families, if weighed in terms of actual budgetary allocations, turns out be another hoax. The budgetary allocation on this account is merely Rs 1600 core which can cover hardly 10 lakh families (and not 10 crore). And such discrepancy exposes the dubious intent. Overall, behind the shrill fraudulent noise of all round development, the budget continued to remain a contractionary budget and focus of almost all govt expenditures are designed to benefit only the rich and propertied business class and the common people and the workers in particular are being subjected to deeper exploitation and repression.
Budget speech lavishly spoke about developing self reliance in defence production and what is being actually done is setting the process of destruction of the existing indigenous manufacturing capabilities in the Ordnance factories, the defence PSUs and country’s shipyards by way of mass scale outsourcing in favour of private sector, both foreign and domestic turning around half of the Ordnance Factories redundant and starving the Defence PSUs and Shipyards of work-orders. On the same way, under the camouflage of expanding Railway network, the project of total privatization of Railways is being pursued in full swing. Are these in any manner serving national interests or sabotaging the same in favour of foreign players ?
The Govt has been moving fast in selling out the national assets through wholesale privatization. In the current year the target for disinvestment /privatization is kept at Rs 80000 crore to keep on the pace of its ‘destroy India’ programme under the camouflage of “Make in India”.
CITU denounced the budget 2018-19 of the Modi Govt and calls upon the working class to unitedly protest and fight against the fraud and exploitation they are being subjected to simultaneously.
(Tapan Sen )
1st February 2018 General Secretary
BUDGET -- NO MENTION ABOUT INCREASE IN MINIMUM PAY AND FITMENT FORMULA. EDUCATION CESS INCREASED TO 4%.
We are publishing the Budget Speech of Sri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister and Press Statements issued by Central Trade Unions CITU, AITUC & BMS . As far as Central Government Officers & Employees are concerned the budget is disappointing.