August 7, 2018
Saugata Roy speaks on the Supplementary Demands for Grants
Sir, I rise to speak on the Supplementary Demands for Grants and Demands for excess grants moved by Shri Piyush Goyal, currently holding charge of finance, corporate affairs, railways and coal. (He is ) the most burdened minister in the history of independent India.
Sir, the supplementary demands are to the extent of Rs 11,697 crore, but of this the budget outgo is only about Rs 5,951 crore, and rest are made by savings of the department, to the tune of Rs 5,745 crore.
Sir, before going into the main subject there are some points that need to be mentioned. Mr Venugopal has spoken about the Rafale deal. It is one of the biggest scandals of independent India. The country is going to lose Rs 2,500 crore in the the Rafale deal and the Reliance Aero which is going to make Rs 25,000 crore, which is already in debt. Mr junior Ambani’s company is set to gain Rs 25,000 crore. I think a full fledged investigation should be done on the Rafale deal.
Sir, Mr Nishant was speaking about a certain aspect of the economy. I want to remind Mr Goyal that last month GST collection was less by Rs 40,000 crore and this is not a good state of the economy. I also want to mention Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. As we know, Mehul Choksi has taken shelter in Antigua and Nirav Modi is God knows where. Till now, I don’t know where is Lalit Modi. I had spoken about the ‘Modi syndicate’ earlier and I hope the government clears the air regarding this.
Sir, Mr Nishant trying to said that the economy is in a very bad position. Let me remind the Government that inflation has touched 5.8% in the highest length. Sir, I may also mention that NPAs have risen to 11.6% of their advances. Many banks have stopped giving advances at all, which speaks very badly about economy.
Sir, the actual number of employees fell to 406 million from 2016 to 2017-18. The government which had promised to provide 20 million employments per year, is actually faced with falling employment.
Sir, the current account deficit is now going to cross 2% in 2018-19. The investment ratio has steeply declined from 31.3% of GDP in 2013-14 and has remained stagnant at about 28.5%. All is not well in the state of Modi (not of Denmark).
Sir, so the government tries to cover it up with polarising stands as they have done in Assam with the NRC, as they will attempt to do maybe in Ayodhya, I shall not deal with that.
Sir, the other thing I want to mention is that Mr Nishant was talking about how India has progressed. May I mention one thing, what is India’s share in the world exports? It is currently 1.8% of the world exports. They say India is the fifth largest economy, Modi Ji ko sab log khatir karte hain, but exports remain at 1.8% and also bank credit growth hit a 20-year low at the present moment. Situation is not very conducive.
Sir, I also want to mention that the government’s announcement of MSP falls far short of Swaminathan Commission report and desire. So how will we give the farmer his due? How shall we prevent farmers’ suicide? These are not very clear.
With this state of the economy Sir, Mr Goyal has come forward with his demands for supplementary grants.
I may mention that the biggest grants in the Supplementary Budget is being given to Air India, to the tune of Rs 980 crore. Sir, what is the state of Air India? Air India is our national carrier. The government had announced that it would disinvest Air India. They could not find a global buyer, global partner in this effort.
Now what is the state of Air India? The pilots are not getting their salaries regularly. When we travel by aircrafts, the air hostesses complain that they are not being paid their incentives. Now, if a pilot has mental unrest, how do I expect him to fly a modern dreamliner? This is putting the lives of the people at risk; these pilots are the best pilots in the world. This is what the Government has done talking about disinvestment in Air India for two years.
Sir, I may also mention in this regard other things about Air India. They have a financial restructuring plan, this was approved by previous UPA regime. But that financial restructuring plan has not come through. The Turn Around Plan (TAP) includes budgetary support amounting to Rs 30,231 crore spread over 10 years ie. up to FY 2020-21 and also equity support for the payment of principal/ interest of the non-convertible debentures. The national carrier has a debt of Rs 48,000 crore. I would like to know from the hon Minister, since he has proposed this (amount of) Rs 980 crore for Air India, what is the Turn Around Plan for Air India and how does he hope to write off the debts or deal with the debts?
Sir, the other thing is the rest of the supplementary demands are not very controversial and are all of small amounts so I am not dealing with them at length, Sir. But they have give a supplementary demand of Rs 1057 crore for defence. It is defence which is in peril with regards to Rafael jets. So, defence which has a budget of more than Rs 2 lakh crore, is really in jeopardy, I can mention that, Sir.
The total supplementary grants that has been given, is Rs 1 lakh each to various subjects. At this stage when the Minister has come with this first batch of supplementary demands, there will be more supplementary demands for the current year, I want to ask him that why doesn’t he enlighten the House about the state of the economy? He has spoken a lot about the ‘Ujjwala Yojana’, the ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’, the ‘Mudra Yojana’. I want to know what is the cumulative effect of all these schemes?
Mr Goyal has held several meetings with bankers but he has not been able to show a way out of the present morass in the banks, with the total Non-Performing Assets amounting to Rs 9 lakh crores, and banks like Dena Bank asked to stop lending altogether. How will the economy develop, how will capital formation take place if the banks, the principle engine of growth in economy, are in such a horrible position?
Sir, one interesting thing I would like to say is that Rs 280 crore, small amount, has been sanctioned for providing grants for creating capital assets for developing modern freight village at Varanasi. Why Varanasi? You have so many places in Bangla on the banks of the Ganges. Why no freight terminal in Bangla? That’s a matter I would like to know.
The other is Ministry of Textiles has been given Rs 1,500 crore. I want to know what the condition of the textile weavers is today. The government subsidies and grants are not reaching them.
All in all we are living in a difficult situation. After demonetisation, the GDP growth had fallen to 6.1%. The Ministry says that ‘green shoots’ are showing, GDP growth may increase this year but the way farmers are committing suicide speaks another tale.
Sir, we have to support supplementary demands for grants because we have to let the government run. But I have to say that all is not well in the state of Mr Modi. The Modis are all escaping from the country; Nirav and Lalit and their friend Mehul Choksi and we don’t know which Modi will escape from the country next.
Thank you, Sir.