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February 9, 2017

India will muddle through another year of hopes belied and aspirations unfulfilled: Trinamool on Union Budget

During a discussion on the Union Budget, Kalyan Banerjee (Lok Sabha) and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (Rajya Sabha) spoke on behalf of the party.

Both of them cornered the government on the declining economy, lack of jobs, black money, demonetisation and failed promises of the government.


Lok Sabha

Chief Whip of Trinamool in the Lok Sabha, Kalyan Banerjee said that India will muddle through another year of hopes belied and aspirations unfulfilled. He called the Budget controversial and said it does not provide any roadmap for the future.

He asked the government why the cost and ‘benefits’ of demonetisation were not being shared. He wanted to know from the Finance Minister how much black money has been receovered post demonetisation.

On the effect of demonetisation, Kalyan Banerjee said, “The supply chain of leather industry in Bengal is in shambles. So is jute, tea, textile, handloom and handicrafts. Fact remains that Moradabad, Ferozabad, Meerut known worldwide for their glass bangles and sports goods are in miserable shape with maximum units closed. The unorganised sector of India provides 80 percent of jobs and demonetisation has destroyed that.”

Accusing the govt of playing jugglery with words he stated that private sector investment has declined over the last three financial years. “Investors are ineligible or unwilling to borrow and banks are unable to lend. Therefore credit growth to all industries is at all time low and turned negative in October, 2016,” he added.

On government’s penchant for cashless society, he had to say: “This year there has been very good cultivation, but the farmers are not able to sell their crops due to non-availability of cash. You may speak about the cashless society, but you cannot change a 70 year old system with the stroke of a pen overnight. We support cashless, but not in one day or two days, it will take time. Our rural economy is based on cash flows, we cannot shut our eyes to the reality.”

He said demonetisation has destroyed the rural economy: “The Budget has given credit to farmers, which will never reach them because 92 percent villages have no bank in India. The government’s demonetisation policy have already destroyed the cooperative system by not providing them cash which is the mainstay of farmers for credit.”

Full transcript of his speech


Rajya Sabha

Chief Whip of the party in Rajya Sabha, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said the Budget speech is full of rhetoric and the figures of increase in allocation are deceptive. He said, “ Export has lost momentum. Budget has no word on how the situation can be combated. Nothing has been said on the mounting NPAs over the years.”

He added that people are tired of hearing the growth story. He cited that India accounts for 1 in 3 people living below international poverty line. 800 million lndians live on 1.8$ per day and we talk of growth figures. More than 60% of the wealth is in the hands of only 1% people.”

Puncturing the government’s claims on FDI he said it is alarming that FIIs are constantly selling in equity and fixed income market since November 8, 2016 (when demonetisation was announced). He accused the ruling party of knowing in advance about demonetisation; that is why they bought hundreds of acres of land across States in cash, he added.

“People are suffering due to demonetisation. But government has no answer as to how much black money has been recovered and how much fake currency has been seized,” SS Roy said. “Workers in informal sector, plantation labourers, small traders, MSME – all have been destroyed,” he added.

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy wanted to know from the Finance Minister under which provisions of law were limits of cash withdrawal put in place. He said while ATMs still do not have cash, the Finance Minister claims there was no cash crunch for a single day in the last three months.

Reminding the BJP of their electoral promise of doubling the income of farmers, he wanted to know how much profit farmers have made in the last 2.5 years. He also said the BJP’s promise of bringing back black money from abroad was a jumla.

On electoral reforms, SS Roy said that Trinamool has always demanded state funding of polls through Election Commission. He said the measures introduced by the Finance Minister (capping of donations at Rs 2000 and introduction of electoral bonds) would not serve any purpose and were aimed at helping big parties at the cost of smaller parties.

Full transcript of his speech