March 16, 2015
Trinamool MPs criticise the Union Budget 2015-16 in Parliament
Updated last 21.00 hrs, 16 March 2015
Saugata Roy today spoke on the Union Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha. He severely criticised the Government for the lack of direction and called the budget as ‘anti-poor’.
“The Budget is full of promises and talks, but it definitely has a direction. The direction is towards the economic inequality. As someone said, they have failed the fiscal test, the test of equity and rising inequality”, said Saugata Roy.
He further criticised the Government for cutting down funds for centrally sponsored schemes. “Their fiscal roadmap is a compression of public spending on welfare measures. Centre will not pay any money on the welfare of the poor people”, he said.
He severely criticised the Government for increase of Indirect Taxes, and tax benefits to the corporate sector.
“Corporate Tax for the big corporate is being reduced by 5% by 2017. Also Wealth Tax has been abolished. GAAR the General Anti-Avoidance Rules, applied to big corporate investing outside has been deferred by two years. So this is a corporate friendly budget”, he observed.
Saugata Roy also highlighted the failure of the Government in bringing back the Black Money slashed abroad.
He spoke about the devolution of funds to West Bengal. West Bengal, despite having a larger population than Bihar has only got 7.34% of the share of the State, while Bihar has got 9.665% and Madhya Pradesh, with much lower population has got 7.54%.
“West Bengal got some revenue deficit grant of Rs 11,000 Crore. Out of this Rs 11,000 Crore, only Rs 8,500 Crore is being paid this year. We have to pay Rs 31,000 Crore to the centre for loans incurred by the previous Left Front Government”, he said.
Abhishek Banerjee came down heavily on the Government for failed promises and factually dismissed the hollow claim of cooperative federalism. He said that this Budget is no longer the ‘Annual Financial Statement’ (AFS) but is now an ‘Absolute Fictitious Statement.
He said, “The Government spoke about ‘Act East’ in the Budget. The phrase he should have used is bluff east”, he said. He reminded the House that Rajnath Singh had promised of a package for Bengal, but in reality nothing has happened.
Abhishek Banerjee said, “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.”
The allotment for social sector schemes has been reduced drastically.
“There has been a 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 there is a 1.7% decrease. Environment, forests and climate change there is a 11.1% decrease, in water resources there is a 41.9% decrease and in new and renewable energy a 68.3% decrease”, he said.
The Government had promised to bring back the Black Money to the people but yet 98% of the bank accounts under Jan Dhan Yojona remain at zero balances.
Abhishek Banerjee criticised heavily on Government’s road map on women empowerment. The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme has allocations of only Rs 100 Crores, while the Kanyashree scheme in Bengal has an allocation of nearly Rs 1000 Crore.
He said, “Nirbhaya Fund, increased to Rs 1000 Crore, has remained unspent till now. 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.”
Even on the count of Infrastructure Development. Money has been slashed on Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojona, National Livelihood Mission, Ganga rejuvenation allocation and others.
He concluded by saying, “What I believe is that this Government does not know what they are doing and continuously misleading the people.”