Rajya Sabha

February 7, 2024

Santanu Sen’s speech in the Rajya Sabha during the discussion on the Interim Union Budget, 2024-25 and the Interim Budget of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 2024-25

Santanu Sen’s speech in the Rajya Sabha during the discussion on the Interim Union Budget, 2024-25 and the Interim Budget of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 2024-25

Good evening madam. I am here to speak on the interim budget after listening to the election manifesto of Bharatiya Janata Party, just published by our Prime Minister in the form of thanksgiving speech on presidential address. Sir, when our learned Prime Minister, Mr. Modi took his oath for the first time. His motto was Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas and he had promised people that there Achhe din were just around the corner. However, the nominal increase in the budgetary allocation for welfare programs challenges the notion of Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas favoring the corporate entities. The finance Minister often claims that India has surpassed the former colonizer that is the UK. But unfortunately, the reality is that per capita GDP, India ranks 142nd, where UK ranks only 21st. As per the budget the gross tax revenue for financial year 2024-25 is 30 lakhs crores of, of which the corporate tax is only 26%. In 2013-14 it was 34%. This means the contribution of large companies to the country’s tax year has declined by 8%. Madam, the union governments in India accommodation are made for the excess of conglomerates, not for the aspirations of the ordinary Indian. The Union government’s differential treatment reflects not only how different Indians are taxed, but also how different Indians earn. In 2013-14, the top 1% of income taxpayers and 17% of total income, and in just eight years it has become 23%. While inflation was scarcely mentioned by our Finance Minister, it should be noted that food inflation is currently at the concerning of 7.7%. Additionally, it’s essential to acknowledge that real wages for casual workers have remained stagnant for four years and that there has been a rise in the number of workers who rely on agriculture. Despite the increase in budgetary spending, the overall public sector capital expenditure is estimated to decrease from 4.7% to 3.9% of GDP, indicating a mismatch between budgetary allocation and effective spending. Railways and roads have seen a drastic reduction from 24% in 1920 to a mere 4% in 2024-25. One contributing factor to this decline is the increasing indebtedness of our critical public entities, such as National Highway Authority of India, which as of February 28th, 2023, had a total outstanding debt of nearly 3.43 lakh crore. India’s position in the Global hunger index is 111 out of 121 countries. The government’s budget estimates and revised estimates for 2023-24 so that it spent less on agriculture, education, health and social welfare sectors than what it had initial budgeted for. Given this context, we approached the interim budget, but unfortunately the budget speech did not address these issues. Instead, it was filled with unfounded claims and promises of future prosperity. As we have seen few minutes back in the speech of our Prime Minister, which was also full of false promises made. In a speech, the finance Minister claimed that people are living and earning better than before, with even greater aspiration for the future. However, the government’s own PLF survey data says that a 25% reduction in real monthly regular wages between 1718 to 2023. Additionally, the sales of fast moving consumer goods, which is an indicator of increased incomes, faltered in the October-December quarter of 2023. The minister announced that around 40,000 trains running as part of the Indian Railway will be upgraded to one day, worth ignoring the real conditions of an average traveler. According to the Railway Minister, some 95.3% of total passengers travel in general and non AC sleepers, while only 4.5% travel in AC coaches. Yet the focus is on Vande Bharat. Madam. As per the CAG report of 2022, the combined shortfall in the money needed for the renewal of tracks amount to around 1.03 lakh crore. The tragic train accident of Balasore should have been avoided if the Anti-collision device should have been taken care of, which was earlier initiated by our then Railway Minister, Madam Mamata Banerjee. BJP engaging in fiscal federal terrorism because they cannot fight Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress in Bengal. They owe 6900 crore under NREGA project, 9000 crore for Awas Yojona, 7000 crore for paddy procurement of inefficient. Overall due is nearly 1.16 lakh crore. Bengal Chief Minister had promised that she would double the income of the farmer. When she became chief Minister in 2011, it not only double, it has been made triple. On the contrary, Prime Minister promised to make it double in 2014. Now he is saying that it will be double in 2028. That is very unfortunate. Sir, even the GST revenue growth is 24% of Bengal’s performance is much higher, which is the national average is only 12%. This announcement to pay the rightful dues of NREGA workers by our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from our own state funds will change the federal outlook, which she has decided very recently. The Union government may try hardest to change the idea of India, but the All-India Trinamool Congress will fight back in our state of West Bengal. Recently PM has spoken about cooperative federalism. Unfortunately he was talking if a pin breaks in the in the fate haat kya baitha rahega, lekin PM kaa kahena aur karne mein bohut farak hain. He only cares of those double engine governments and he hardly cares for the single engine companies like our Mamata Banerjee government. For the non BJP states agencies are ready. Governors are used. I must give credit to our Prime Minister because in reality, the price of everything has gone high. But one thing has definitely gone down that we all must appreciate , that is the life of the common people. The price of life of common people has really gone down. And lastly

Hum kahenge, baccha baccha gali gali mein puch raha hain,

Acche din kab ayenge?

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