Lok Sabha

March 16, 2015

Abhishek Banerjee speaks in discussion on Budget (General) 2015-16 | Transcript

Full transcript: 

Deputy Speaker SirI offer my respect and regards to all the senior members of this House and seek their cooperation, blessings and support. I rise to speak today on the Union Budget 2015-16. I rise today to tell everyone a story of comparisons. A story of what was said and what has been done.  A story of what was advertised in election campaigns and what has remained unfulfilled in nine months.  A story of what BJP spoke while in Opposition and now their actions after coming to power.

So, it’s a very simple theme. What was said… What has been done… Let me give you ten examples.

I. Let me start with my first example. Let’s start with federalism.

What was said?

“Congress-led UPA Govt destroys India’s federal democratic structure. Sharing and caring in federalism is a must for a strong India.”

When was this said? In the year of 2012.

Who said it? The then Chief Minister of Gujarat and the current Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi

What has been done?

They talk about increased devolution to the states. This is just mere an exaggeration. The share of gross receipts to the States last year was 61.88 paise to the rupee. What is it this year? 62. There has been a small increase of only 0.12 paise.

The same BJP who made hollow promises about federalism, now have delinked 8 schemes from Central funding and that includes important schemes life modernisation of Police Forces, Backward Regions Grant Fund, Export Infrastructure, Krishi Vikas Yojana etc.

The Government spoke about ‘Act East’ in the Budget. The phrase he should have used is BLUFF EAST. Because you do not even have to look at the fine print to realise that there is no extra funds for states like West Bengal and Bihar.

So may I say with all humility, dignity and respect – the founding fathers of the Constitution did not perceive the Budget to just be a wishlist. Where are the hard numbers I would like to know.

Where is the provision in your Budget for any kind of money for states like Bihar and Bengal?

Why have your allotments been cut down for key social sectors?

I am registering my protest today from this August House. In a year from now, the people of Bengal and the people of Bihar will also register their protest. I am doing it in this special building today, they will do it through the power of the ballots.

Sir, let me give you one example of what they said and what they do. The government with bandwagon started a scheme called Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. This closely resembles the Kanyashree scheme of the West Bengal Government, which was started by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee.  The fund allocation in the Union Budget for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is mere Rs 100 Crore for the entire country which includes 29 States and 7 Union Territories.

For the much acclaimed, UN-appreciated Kanyashree scheme, do you know how much the West Bengal Govt has allocated for one year? Not Rs 100 Crore. Not Rs 200 Crore. Not Rs 300 Crore… not Rs 400 Crore… not Rs 500 Crore. It is Rs 1000 Crore just for one state. That is what West Bengal has achieved. Sir, actions speak louder than words.

Let me give a solid example of federalism in action. Sir, you will be happy to know that States have been fiscally more responsible than the Centre. Average fiscal deficit of states is around 3%. Centre has the advantage of falling oil prices. Yet the Finance Minister set back fiscal deficit target of 3% by 1 year, while also contracting social sector spending.

II. Debt stressed states, my second point:

What was said?

“For the development of West Bengal and to remove poverty and unemployment, whatever big package is necessary, we will give it and we will cooperate fully.”

When was this said? April, 2014.

Who said it? The then BJP President and the current Home Minister Rajnath Singh

What has been done?

Just one word – Nothing.  Instead, West Bengal has paid Rs 1 lakh crore in the last three years as instalments for debt repayment. We demand a moratorium for restructuring of the loan of last three years but nothing has happened. Grants in Aid have also been reduced to Rs 8849 crores in 2015-16 and there are 716 panchayats in the state of West Bengal which are still completely unbanked. I would like to ask the Hon’ble Finance Minister and Hon’ble Prime Minister of this country and the Central Government when can we start this scheme so that the people in districts under Panchayats get benefitted as there is absolutely no facility over there.

III. Black Money, my third issue. What was said. What has been done.

 What was said?

“If our party forms the government at the Centre, it would bring back all the black money stashed in foreign banks within 150 days. The money brought back would be spent on the welfare schemes and for the poor people of the country.”

When was this said? May, 2014

Who said it? Rajnath Singh ji

What has been done?

The government has not made any progress in bringing back black money. This government is also speaking in the same language that of  UPA II on the issue. In fact, Sir, even the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address now has a mention of the failure of this government to bring back black money from foreign countries. Whenever they are being asked when it is coming back, they say it is on the way.  I am wondering whether it is coming by companies like Blue Dart, FEDEX, for that matter DHL or by flight. Who is bringing back the money. Can we have tracking or shipment number so that the, so that we as Indians can track it and get to know when are the people of the country actually getting that Rs 15 lakh for their welfare.

Sir, this is why our Chairperson Ms Mamata Banerjee has been electoral reforms

As we at All India Trinamool Congress always believe that black money leads to money power; money power leads to muscle power. Muscle power and money power together is a poisonous, potent, lethal mix in a Parliamentary democracy that too especially in the world’s largest democracy. That is why, we have always demanded electoral reforms. We did not hear a single word on electoral reforms on this budget. Electoral reforms is the need of the hour in the country. State funded elections are a necessity for weeding out corruption in this vibrant democracy.

IV. Taxation is the fourth issue and most imperative one I believe. What was said. What have they done.

What was said?

“You have decided — and every society decides — to tax people who earn. So, you tax people for what they earn. You have now decided to tax people for what they spend.”

When was this said? 2013

Who said it? Arun Jaitley ji, the Hon’ble Finance Minister

 What has been done?

Sir, the service tax has actually been increased from 12.36 % to 14% and this is one of the most important taxes of the country, which will actually affect the lifestyle of the poor people. They make essential commodities and services more  expensive.

V.  Social Sector Indicators, my fifth point.

What was said?

“This has very little to offer, especially to the sectors which needed some help. First they put economy in distress then they come with some cosmetic changes. This is juggling.”

When was this said? 2013.

Who said it? Arun Jaitley ji

What has been done?

Social Sector Indicators of this government are poor. Some facts and figures

  • Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation – 35% decrease in allocation
  • After adjusting for inflation, expenditure for Rural Development and WCD is in fact less than previous budgets
  • School education – 1.7% decrease
  • Environment, forests and climate change – 11.1% decrease
  • Water resources – 41.9% decrease
  • New and renewable energy – 68.3% decrease

Sir, they started with bandwagon, they have opened a few crores bank accounts as part of Jandhan Yojona Scheme, Sir let me tell you and let me tell the people of the country the truth about Jandhan Yojona. The truth is we do not care whether it is crores or lakhs, millions or billions that bank accounts have been opened, the fact is 98% of those accounts have zero balance in reality. That is the failure of Central Government, the NDA Government.

VI. Sir, my sixth point is MGNREGA. Sir, I had the honour to speak on MGNREGA is the 193 discussion. I have still not received the answers from the Central Government.

What was said?

“The scheme should instill pride of contributing to the country’s growth in everyone. Hundred days of working for the country’s growth. You need to take people into confidence while planning for them.”

When was this said? 2013

Who said it? Then Chief Minister of Gujarat who is the current prime minister of the country.

What has been done?

Sir, this grand scheme that ensures employment for the rural masses is now plagued by the issue of reduced funding. There are problems in transmission of funds to states. Sir, this is something that gives employment to five crore people. The Government talks about Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology and principles. They have used Mahatma Gandhi’s spectacles rims in one of their advertisement campaigns of Swach Bharat, unfortunately this Government has not lived upto the values and expectations of the great Mahatma Gandhi. They have failed to champion the ideals and values of principles and morals of the Father of the Nation. That is another failure.

When the Finance Minister says if the expenditure of revenue of the country we will think of adding another  additional Rs 5000 crore to the scheme, it is something I as a Indian will be ashamed of.

VII. Women Empowerment

What was said?

“The empowerment of women is an important pre-condition for the development of humanity.”

When was this said? 2013

Who said it? The then Chief Minister of Gujarat and the current Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi

What has been done?

  • Nirbhaya Fund, increased to Rs 1000 crore, has remained unspent till now. Who is going to spend it and how? I would like to know from this Government as a member of this August House
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development had proposed to set up 660 rape crisis centres across the country. The number has been reduced to 36. PMO says this is “waste of money”. Sir, what times are we living in? When we talk about women development, I would like to ask the Prime Minister, I would like to ask the representative of the Government what good are your speeches in the lands of Australia, in the lands of America, in the lands of China when the women of this country cannot walk in the roads safely. What is the point if my sister, my colleague, my friend want to walk by the India Gate at 9 o’clock in the night and get murdered in front of the monumental heritage. Can they do that? I am shamed as an Indian, it is extremely nauseating to know that those rapist, those gropers, those culprits at Tihar Jail are having biriyanis and giving interviews to channels like BBCs justifying their stand on Nirbhaya as an Indian I feel ashamed and it is a disgrace to the Nation.


Let me tell you another thing you are talking The national average for women in terms of reservation is 11%.  Mamata Banerjee is the only leader in the country who has got out to 46 MPs in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha we have got 12 women MPs in the House. That’s 35.2%.  This is something we are proud of.

VIII. Children, my eighth point. What was said. What has been done.

What was said?

“India is a youthful nation. If you are determined nothing can stop you from determining your dreams.”

When was this said? 2014

Who said it? Hon’ble Prime Minister

What has been done?

In the Budget, the Finance Minister slashed the allocation for ICDS by 50%. 1 in 3 children, in India our country is malnourished.

Infant mortality and maternal mortality is high as sub-Saharan countries. 50% of students in class V are unable to read a class II level text. Concern for social sector is just in words, not in action. Promises made but not delivered.

IX. Infrastructure development:

What was said?

 “Aapne pichle varsh Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana ke liye 20,699 crore rupay rakhe. How much did you spend? Rs 8,100 crore! These are the infrastructure programmes; one is the rural infrastructure and the other is the highways and the national infrastructure…”

When? 2013

Who said it? Arun Jaitley ji

What has been done?

  • Allocation for National Livelihood Mission decreased by 12%
  • In spite of all the talk of river development, drinking water, renewable energy and helping the North-East, budgetary support has been cut. For water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation allocation is down by 80%. For drinking water and sanitation under the State plan, it’s down 60%.
  • 35% increase to Road Transport and Highways but the allocation for the Pradhanmantri Gram Sadak Yojana has fallen. Bengal is a matter of fact is still being owedRs 3000 crore as part of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojona. Bengal as a matter of fact is still be owed Rs 1000 crore as a part of 100 days work though we are number one in what we do.

Sir, let me just conclude by saying ;

What was said?

“The Finance Minister’s Vote on Account was nothing but a failed attempt to gloss over the failures of the government. This tendency of taking hurried decisions without consulting major stakeholders increases uncertainty.”

Who said this? Rajnath Singh

When? March, 2014

Sir, I have presented a few examples of what the BJP government said when they were in Opposition and what they have done when they have come to the helm of affairs, Sir it is just misguiding and misleading people with promises of ache din. I just only want to say there is a HUGE gap between what they have said and what they have done.

Budget I as a common man or fellow Indian, as citizen of India general Budget is something that the entire country always looks upto. The Budget is generally termed as Annual Financial Statement. According to Article 112 of the Constitution of India term it as AFS or use it as acronym I have derived of a new meaning after seeing this Budget or watching this Budget or hearing this Budget. AFS does not stand for Annual Financial Statement it stands for – Absolute Fictitious Statement.

What I believe, is that this Government does not know what they are doing and continuously misleading the people. The Government is trying to find a black cat, on a dark road in a dark night which is not there. So I would rest by case and leave it to your judgement for that.

Thank you.