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March 18, 2015

The Union Budget is pro-corporate and anti-poor: SS Ray in Rajya Sabha

The Union Budget is pro-corporate and anti-poor: SS Ray in Rajya Sabha

Sukhendu Sekhar Ray today spoke on the Union Budget 2015-16 at the Rajya Sabha. He termed the Budget as anti people, full of rhetoric and a jugglery of statistics.

He pointed out that the Central Plan Assistance to the States has gone down from Rs 338000 Crore to Rs 205000 Crore.

SS Ray asked the Government to include the cess and surcharge in the divisive pool by bringing an Amendment to the Constitution and quoted the Financial Commission recommendations on this.

“Earlier successive Finance Commissions have recommended that Union Government review the current position with respect to the non divisive pool, arising out of cess and surcharges. What are the two ways to address the concern of the States? One is an Amendment in the Constitution to include these in the divisive pools or increase the share of divisive pools to compensate the States on this account.”

He criticised the Government for cutting down assistance in schemes like BRGF and ICDS, mid-day meal schemes, housing and poverty alleviation.

He cited the UN Millennium Development Report, 2014 where it is shown that 40 Crore people are poorest of the poor, but the Government has no plans for these 40 Crore people. He criticised the Budget saying that this is pro corporate, and has completely forgotten the agricultural sector. India is an agricultural country yes the agricultural sector has been completely ignored in the Budget.

He strongly criticised the Government for deferring GAAR by two years and asked the Government on why they backtracked on the promises of implementing GAAR from Financial Year 2015-16.

The Budget reminded him of an Oscar Wilde quote, ““Someone, who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Click here for SS Ray’s speech