Rajya Sabha

February 10, 2020

Manas Ranjan Bhunia speaks on Union Budget 2020-21

Manas Ranjan Bhunia speaks on Union Budget 2020-21


Hon’ble Deputy Chairman, Sir, this august House is witnessing the deliberation of the Budget discussion which was initiated by Madam Nirmala SItharaman ji, Hon’ble Finance Minister. Her longest Budget speech for 2 hours and 40 minutes is an unprecedented presentation in Parliament. The people of India expected and waited for her deliberation. How India and the people can be saved from the serious economic crisis precipitated for the last few years under the regime of this government. The farmers, the labourers, youth, students, women, industry, traders, every sector starting from, mining, industrial – all sectors were waiting. 

But Madam Sitharaman ji, instead of offering to revive the Indian economy which is in deep crisis, placed it in the ICU. I was listening to Mr Chidambaram ji; he was explaining every bit of the Budget’s deficiencies and the way we are suffering in the Indian economy, very categorically. The main objective of the Budget of  Madam Sitharaman ji is ‘aspirational India’. Second, ‘economic development. Third, ‘caring society’. Along with these three doctrines, the Hon’ble Finance Minister has planned out the entire Budget presentation in different columns. 

Now analyse. What is the real state of affairs in the Indian economy? Mr Chidambaram spoke very widely but still, I will try to focus on my points on how the Indian economy is reeling in different economic sectors. The most important and contributing factor in the Indian economy is agriculture. India lives in villages. The villagers and farmers are contributing food to us, to the entire nation by which we are surviving.

What is the state of affairs of the Indian farmers? 

For the last few years due to the debt burden in the different states, more than 65,000 farmers committed suicide. The highest in Maharashtra during the BJP regime. But, in our state, in Bengal, comparatively when I was studying the state of affairs of the farmers, I saw that Madam Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered so many beneficiary schemes, economically which is sustainable for the survival of the farmers in a good way. 

What was that? We contributed the ‘Krishak Bandhu’, which is not present in the Indian budgetary provision. 

We provided Rs 2 lakh compensation for the deceased farmers’ families which is non-existent in Indian budgetary provisions. 

We provided Rs 2,500 in two installments, in total Rs 5,000 in a year to the farmers, which is non-significant in the Indian budgetary provisions. 

We provided that no farmer should give any mutation charges and he or she is relieved from land revenue in West Bengal which is non-existent in the Indian budgetary provisions. 

Our CM provided all sorts of assurances and protective measures for MSP to sell the paddy to the centers but which is non-existent in Indian budgetary provision. 

Madam, as a result, the agricultural contribution to the GDP, growth has come down to 2.1%. This is a serious situation. India and its economy are reeling with the agricultural sector. 

Now come to the industry. 

Industrial health is in a serious situation. Many of the traders and industrialists, numbering 28%, looted India and banks and flew away from the country, and the Government could not do anything, could not touch any person. 

The contribution of banks to industry is slowing down. As a result, the industrial contribution to the GDP has come down to 4.1%. 

As a result, unemployment is rising to the peak. What is that? In the last 45 years, it is the highest observed – 6.1% unemployment. This government in its first term assured and declared 2 crore jobs will be contributed for unemployed youths. At the 6th year ending period this government should come out with the figure of 12 crore jobs offered to the Indian unemployed youths. 

But what is the situation? According to the Center of Monitoring Indian Economy Report, 1 crore people have been jobless and there was no job offered to the unemployed youths. The situation, growing unemployment, which was expected to be addressed by the government, did not get a single point. The situation is serious on the economic front in relation to the employment situation. 

Mining, electricity all these sectors – elaborated by Mr Chidambaram – have come down to the precipitating level. This includes the picture of how Indian economy is drowning. What is the reflection? 

GDP has come down from their expectation of 6.1% to 4.5%. Is it a healthy economy?  What is the situation projected by the hon’ble Finance Minister in her Budget speech? 

The growth of the real GDP for the 2nd quarter of 2019 and 2020 was 4.5%. As compared to 7% in the corresponding previous year. 

Consumer price inflation stood at 5.5% in November 2019 as compared to 4.6% in October 2019. 

The index of industrial production growth contracted by 3.8% during October 2019 as compared to 8.4% during October 2018. 

Madam, food inflation based on consumer food price index (CFPI) increased to 10% in November 2019 as compared to 7.9% October 2019, mainly due to increase in inflation in cereals, milk products, oils, fats, vegetables, pulses, spices, sugar and confectionaries. These materials are being used by all households in India. It may be in the village, it may be in the urban areas. 

So what is the effect? 

The growth rate in all sectors has come down and reached its precipitating level. 

Agriculture second quarter 2019, 2.1%. Service 6.8%. GDP has reached 4.5%. As a result, the projected revenue mop up by different tax collection, direct and indirect, has come down. 

The revenue deficit has reached 13%, fiscal deficit has reached 12.7%. As a result the entire economic process, entire budgetary provision is in a dream, not in reality. It touched the dream line but it did not touch reality, as a result Indian economy is contracted. Madam, the economic picture is reflected by its performance. 

What is the performance? 

Madam said aspirational India, development and caring society. 

What is the aspiration of India? 

The youth will get jobs. They are not getting. 

Farmers will get advantageous loans, they did not get. 

Unemployed youths are proceeding towards the communicating business and trade forum, they are deprived. 

The labourers are laid off, they are not getting jobs in the future planning of the economy of Indian Budgetary provision.

So in this situation, our country is heading towards a complete economic collapse which needs real doctors to supervise its revival, which is not at all observed by us in the Budget speeches of Madam Sitharaman ji.

Madam, what is the situation of the lack of revenue mop up in the different sectors? If we understand and analyse, you can understand how we were lagging behind and how we are marching towards the negative phase.

Madam, the Budget target was Rs 24,61,195,000 crore. What was mopped up as a gross tax revenue? Rs 21,63,483 lakh crore. So, what is the revenue deficit? It is nearing more than Rs 6.50 lakh crore! Fiscal deficit is coming down to Rs 7 lakh crore. 

How will Indian economy stand with healthy figures, healthy signs and symptoms to run the country and to cover up the entire economic deficit of our country. It cannot. 

It cannot be an aspirational economy. 

It cannot be a developmental economy. 

It cannot be a caring society economy, as desired by Madam Sitharaman ji in her Budget speech.  

Madam, let us look forward.

The contribution of the central government to the states in different sectors. The caring society economy, how they are very much careful and sensitive to the economic support and financial support to the state governments. Central sector schemes, the Budget provision was Rs 8,70,794 crore. It has been revised down to Rs 7,73,196 crore. It has come down.

Madam, the Centrally-sponsored schemes were targeting Rs 3,31,610 crore, it has also come down. Finance commission grants targeted Rs 1,20,456 crore. It has also come down. 

And I am very surprised, really surprised that the 15th Finance Commission had advised that the 42% of the Central share to the States has been slashed down to 41%. How can it?  How will the state governments survive? It’s not a question of this Government or that Government, it is a question of the right of the Government constitutionally, constitutional right of the state Government. 

With the help of the Finance Commission, they are in advance speaking in a negative way that we can not support you with 42% of our sources, it will be slashed down to 41%. Can it be accepted by all the State Government cutting across the political line? Can it be? This is the situation. 

The situation is: subsidy on food has been cut down. The food, farmers who produce the paddy, gehu and other cereals which in turn are going to the recipient village, city and urban area.

The National Food Security Act has been challenged by this Government. It has been belittled by the government. Poorest of the poor people will be taking less food, paying a high price.

 What is the situation? The food substitute budgeted provision was 1,84,220 crores, it has come down to 1,15,570 crore. What is the situation? The people of India will get less food at a high price simultaneously. Will it be accepted by the people of India? Is it the reflection of the caring society symbol? Can it be like that? It should not be.

Madam, the Ministry of Rural Development, the main engine of the employment generation in the rural India and urban India is MGNREGA Rural and MGNREGA Urban. 

What is the situation? 

Rs 71,000 crore was spent this economic year. 

What has been suggested? 

For MGNREGA Rs 61,500 crore. Rs 9,500 crore had been cut down from this firing engine of the employment generation in whole of India, may it be rural India, may it be urban India. 

What is the explanation of the hon’ble Finance Minister? It is a clear symptom and reflection of that. This government had tremendously neglected MGNREGA projects, which is ultimately depriving the people of India, people of rural India, people of urban India. 

What is this? It is the main firing engine of the employment generation in Indian Economy.

Madam, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana. What is the effect? Rs 75,000 crore was allocated to provide financial help to the kisans of India. But where did we land? We landed at Rs 54,000 crore and it has ended in this financial year. 

Is it the proper attentive project of the Government of India led by this the party to provide the farmers of India in the very beautiful situation in a caring society mode? 

Madam, since Independence, so many public sector undertakings (PSUs) were built, to grow the economy, to provide employment and to stabilise the Indian economic situation, to be independent, to be more sovereign in our attitude for industrialisation. 

What is going on? 

Every profit making PSUs is going to be disinvested. What was the target of disinvestment and how it has reached to the disinvestment? Last year, it reached only Rs 65,000 crore out of Rs 1,00,000 crore. This year, in the Budget, the government has set a target of Rs 2,10,000 crore for disinvestment mop up. 

What are the industries which have been included in their disinvestment list to fulfil the financial hunger of this government? This government is tremendously hungry financially. They cannot do anything positive. They want to destroy the basic structure of industrialisation, through disinvestment of the central PSUs in our country.

LIC provides life insurance after the death to the family. But such a situation has been created by the government for LIC, that LIC has no life insurance. It will be finished by this government. And it is the most valuable company in our country.

Madam, they are going to sell Air India. They are going to sell BSNL. They are going to sell MTNL. They are, I read a few days back, going to five per cent sell out/ disinvestment in SAIL. 

Where do we stand? How is this Indian economy proceeding towards the future to revive the economic situation of our country? Can it be like that? 

Madam, now come to the allocation and revised allocation of different departments. 

What is the situation? The situation is,

National Education Mission, their allocation was Rs 38,547 crore. In revised estimate, it has come down to Rs 37,000 crore. Education is also hit. It has not been given much attention.  

National Health Mission, Rs 33,661 crore. 

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, it was Rs 14,000 crore, it has come down to Rs 13,641 crore. 

AMRUT and Smart City Mission, Rs 13,750 crore. It has come down to Rs 9,842 crore.

Swachh Bharat Mission, it was estimated at Rs 12,561 crore. It has come down to Rs 9,965 crore. 

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana, for farmers, was estimated at Rs 9,682 crore. After revision, it has come down to Rs 7,896 crore. 

Mid-day meal programme, from Rs 11,000 crore, it has come down to Rs 9,912 crore. 

In this way, if I read out, 46 departmental budgetary provisions, which had been in the revised estimate, had come down to be bottom level, creating economic instability and social unrest in our Indian economy. This is a very serious situation going on. 

Madam Sitharaman ji, Mr Arun Singh spoke in his budget speech that previous government raised the slogan, “Gareebi Hatao”. Gareebi nahi hata, gareebi badh gaya’. So, Madam Sitharaman ji said in her budget speech, from 2006 to 2016, 270 million people came above the poverty line, through the different schemes. That is the base of the argument, of the speech. 

Madam, she has spoken about the growth engine of the Indian economy. Almost no growth engine is firing, consumption is slowing with new jobs difficult to find. Capex continues to sleep despite the famed ‘Ease of Doing Business’ improving and exports are actually contracting due to India’s lack of competitiveness and big intra-bureaucratic bottleneck. 

Madam, this is a situation. The ‘Make in India’ slogan has been converted to ‘Assemble in India’. Where is the ‘Make in India’ slogan? It has evaporated. Now, ‘Make in India’ slogans have been leading towards ‘Assemble in India’. I apprehend in my own analysis, that after the episode of China, and US-China relationship, in its aftermath, the effect of the economy on industrial production — may it be ‘Make in’, may it be ‘Assemble in’, India cannot take advantage of the situation of the post US-China economic confrontation. It should be addressed properly. 

Dr. Manmohan Singh, the hon’ble ex-Prime Minister and the Finance Minister is sitting here. He knows, he repeatedly said that, demonetisation is a monumental blunder. The people of India said; our leader Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee raised her voice first, saying it was a serious situation. The effect was that more than 150 people lost their lives, standing on the road, in front of the banks. So many farmers committed suicide on the fields and in the houses. 

And it has been followed by hasty decision of the GST implementation. It was celebrated in the middle of the night in Parliament. We were told that we are going to ‘One Nation, One Tax’ regime. What is the effect? Lakhs of crores of rupees are not paid to the state governments and all the state governments have been suffering from economic crisis due to non-cooperation, non-retribution, non-allocation of the GST cess, which the central government owes to the state governments. What is the situation? GST mopup is also less; CGST is less, IGST is less. It is the reflection on the economy. Nobody can deny what is happening at this moment. 

Now come to the banks. This is the 58th year of bank nationalisation, which was done by Madam Indira Gandhi in 1969. Today what is the present situation? The NPA of the banks amount to Rs 76,400 crore. The fraudulent loans – to the tune of Rs 6 lakh crore – given to the frauds who looted the country and flew away from our country and settled in different countries of the world… the government could not do anything to them. And after that the government has planned to merge the ten banks into four banks according to their economic idea. I do not know what purpose will be served with this merger; so many scams are there.

The bank employees and managers are protesting and they are threatened and psychologically they have become psychotic patients, they don’t know what to do, they are not even signing any bank papers. Every time they are at gunpoint for enquiry and punishment.

In this situation we are watching our economy collapse in front of us day by day but the government is not in a mood to admit it. Mr Chidambaram correctly said: to admit the mistake committed by the government could be better but they will not admit it, they say, we are like a Spanish bull we will move ahead in future with our own agenda. Country’s future, prospect and economic development is their second agenda.

Sir, I fear the Novel Coronavirus has caused a pandemic situation in China and engulfed the population of 29 countries. In our country I suspect another virus that is financial Coronavirus has originated from North Block and is destroying the entire economy of our country. 

Who will save our country? It is the people who will save our country and Indian economy in its resilient form in future.

Thank you, Madam.