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February 1, 2019

This is a farcical budget: Dr Amit Mitra

This is a farcical budget: Dr Amit Mitra

Dr Amit Mitra, the Finance Minister of Bangla today did a Facebook LIVE session to share his views on the Union Budget 2019. He called it a farcical budget. He said this was a desperate attempt to sail through the Lok Sabha elections.

Highlights of his speech:

  • A party which is drowning, is clutching at straws desperately to stay afloat. This Budget is a desperate scream for survival. They know they are in power for a month more, yet they have made grand announcements.
  • They announced schemes which they will not be able to implement. This is nothing but jumla. They have made announcements with an eye on votes.
  • Look at the allocation for MGNREGA. The funds have been decreased, compared to revised estimates. They think no one will see the fine print. Trinamool IS reading between the lines.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission – so much has been said about this scheme. Nadia was the first ODF district in the country and got UN recognition. The budget has been slashed by 25%
  • Budget for rural development was Rs 1.38 lakh crore last year. It is the same this year. If inflation is taken into account, the budget has decreased.
  • The budget for the umbrella scheme for SC/ST communities has been slashed by 39%. In the same way, the budget of skill development has been decreased. The budget for welfare of vulnerable groups has been slashed by 20%.
  • There is so much noise about Ujjwala scheme. The budget has been reduced by 15%. They thought no one will read the fine print. So much has been said about energy. The budget has been reduced by 4.4%.
  • They made an announcement about paying pension to farmers in installments. But who will pay? The next government. Modi government will only take credit.
  • They will beat the drums about raising the tax exemption limit. But who will implement it? The next government. They are only concerned about votes.
  • I have seen this jugglery with numbers in my life. The chairman of the statistical commission resigned because the report on unemployment was not being published.
  • As per the report of NSSO, unemployment has risen in the country at a rate of 6.1%. The government is manipulating data.
  • Some newspapers still have the ability to publish that report. Now the cat is out of the bag that unemployment has increased by 6.1%, a percentage that has not happened in the last 45 years. The highest in 45 years! Can they hide this?
  • Why did the RBI governor quit before his tenure was over? Everyone knows that he was being pressurised and controlled, the CBI director was removed at midnight. It’s the same picture wherever they have interfered.
  • Banks have apparently been restructured, we heard in today’s budget. NPAs, which are a yardstick of the banks’ health, was at Rs 2 lakh crores in 2014. We were all very worried that so much debt had not been recovered. What would happen to the banks? What is today’s picture? That NPA has gone up to Rs 10 lakh crores, which is 5 times in 5 years.
  • We heard in the Budget that three banks don’t need corrective action measures as their health has returned. All lies! Will people believe them after seeing the NPA figures?
  • The same scenario exists in case of facts. Several autonomous institutions – from the RBI to the CBI or the statistical commission – are being controlled. Everywhere there is a fascist tendency. They want to control everything.
  • This is a depressing budget. They desperately want to survive by clutching at straws. Will people allow that? The farmer who has been hit by bad times, will he forget? People have not forgotten about demonetisation. Small traders have been hit by GST. Even the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce has said that 40% small enterprises have closed down in Surat.
  • They are trying to hide their failure in controlling fiscal deficit with a jumla budget. The fiscal deficit target of 3.3% will not be met; in fact, fiscal deficit will be around 3.4%. The minister himself admitted.
  • If you read the budget speech, everything will appear hunky-dory. The deeper you dig, the reality will be apparent. They have reduced the funds for most welfare schemes. They just want to show that they are working for the people.
  • India once had the Planning Commission. Today we have Niti Ayog talking about data. Why are they speaking about something which is the domain of Finance Commission and Statistical Office? There is one person in the Niti Ayog who speaks in government’s favour. He is being made to speak. People will give a befitting reply in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
  • The annual average income of farmers has tripled in Bangla. Even the Centre has not been able to challenge this fact.
  • I believe this is a farcical budget. A desperate attempt to clutch at straws before drowning.

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