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National News

Jul 11, 2019

Discussion on Union Budget continues in Rajya Sabha

Discussion on Union Budget 2019-20 continues in Rajya Sabha. Anil Jain of BJP highlighted several measures taken by the NDA government and said the economy has been strengthened under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. Naresh Gujral of Akali Dal said, economy has been strengthened under the NDA regime. 

He expressed hope that the government will implement the Swaminathan Commission’s report on farmers in letter and spirit. 

Anil Desai of Shiv Sena demanded substantial allocations for infrastructure development in Mumbai as well as maximisation of funds for Maharashtra. 

Kumar Ketkar of Congress said the Budget does not mention about the modernisation of railways in Mumbai. Sushil Gupta of Aam Aadmi Party said the Budget lacks the vision to address the problem of unemployment. 

Gopal Narayan Singh of BJP described the Budget as first pro-rural budget. Kamahkya Prasad Tasa of BJP said the Budget has provisions for the North East. 

Congress leaders Mohd. Ali Khan, Ripun Bora and Prof. Rajeev Gowda, as well as Anil Baluni and Vijay Pal Singh Tomar of BJP and others, also spoke on the  Budget. The discussion remained inconclusive. 

Earlier, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram criticized the Budget saying it lacks steps for structural reforms in the country’s economy. Participating in the debate on Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha, he said, it is the first budget which does not give numbers related to total revenue, expenditure, fiscal deficit and other figures. Mr Chidambaram said the Budget has nothing to improve domestic and household savings. 

He described tax collection targets of the government as unrealistic. The former Finance Minister also listed failure of government’s initiatives with regard to road construction, making country open defecation free and lack of jobs in the country.

D Raja of CPI claimed that the Budget fails to address real issues being faced by the country. He said the government is dependent on FDI and private investment for revenue generation. Mr Raja said the allocations for Women and Child Development and SCs/STs welfare have been decreased. 

TMC’s Sukhendu Shekhar Ray said, there is a 7 percent reduction in total expenditure on social security and the budget has nothing for senior citizens. 

He said that total tax revenues are lower than the revised estimates. Mr Ray also questioned the government on the issue of black money. 

Prasanna Acharya of BJD said, unemployment is the biggest problem being faced by the country and it is at its highest in the last 45 years. He asked why unemployment prevails if industries are growing, and FDI is increasing. He questioned the government on putting 10 per cent customs duty of newsprint.
Elamaram Kareem of CPI(M) questioned the budget saying that it has not addressed the problems of working people, farmers, and poor of the country. He said, it is silent on agrarian crisis and unemployment. 

 Manoj Jha of RJD said the budget has nothing substantial for the poor and middle class of the country. He said it does not talk about the present condition of joblessness and measures to deal with it. He also questioned the government over demonetization of high-value currency note saying the budget does not talk about its impact on the economy.

Tiruchi Siva of DMK welcomed the Budget proposal with regard to dedicated payment platform for the MSMEs. He however raised fingers on government record to provide employment and bringing black money back from abroad. He also criticised the government for demonetisation saying it has created distress. 

Kapil Sibal of Congress has termed the Union Budget as visionless. He said private investment, public investment are the drivers of the economy but they are not picking up which are impacting manufacturing, jobs and economy. He also questioned the government on making the country a five trillion economy.

He said irrigation projects of the state needs Centre’s support. He also said that all Public Sector Undertakings should not be privatized.  

Ravi Prakash Verma of Samajwadi Party, Prabhat Jha of BJP, Manas Ranjan Bhunia of TMC and R C P Singh of JD(U) also spoke on the Budget.

Earlier in the morning, Zero and Question Hours were suspended to take up discussion on Union Budget in the Rajya Sabha.   

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