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AAP’s reaction on Budget

February 01, 2017 09:07 PM

Chandigarh, 

A limited and lackluster budget, that adds insult to an economy grievously injured by Demonetization.

Given the unseemly haste to preset the 2017 Budget, despite requests of Members of Parliament to observe a day of mourning for MP Ahmed, the nation assumed that the Modi Government would unveil a momentous and visionary budget.

Given the unseemly haste to preset the 2017 Budget, despite requests of Members of Parliament to observe a day of mourning for MP Ahmed, the nation assumed that the Modi Government would unveil a momentous and visionary budget.

However FM Jaitley presented yet another lackluster budget, that:

- failed to acknowledge or apologies for the chaos unleashed by the disastrous demonetization decision, on the poorest citizens of our country and our economy.  

- failed to provide any data on the gains of demonetization. The nation is yet to know how much black money was unearthed or counterfeit currency seized for a move that has cost our country 1.28 lakh crores (CMIE data), an estimated 23 lakh jobs lost and 120 documented deaths due to demonetization. Indians are yet to know when we can withdraw our own money freely from our bank accounts. 

- failed to provide any incentives or road map for job creation. PM Modi had promised the nation’s youth 2 crore jobs a year. In the last six months 23 lakh jobs have been lost. With growing protectionism and recession abroad, and a devastated economy locally the nation’s youth looks at another broken promise

- failed to provide any relief to farmers who have been reeling under the impact of 2 years drought, high debt and a disastrous demonetization which has resulted in widespread rural distress. In yet another Jumla statement the FM promised to double farmer’s income in 5 years. This implies a compound growth rate of 14.5 % per year which is simply not achievable given that agricultural growth in 2014-15 was negative 0.25% and 2015-16 was 1.2%. Is the Govt going to take any credible steps such as implementing the Swaminathan commission reports?

- failed to provide any credible plan to recapitalize India’s banking system which is reeling under NPA’s of 6 lakh crores. Rs 10,000 crores are clearly inadequate to re-capitalize banks that are already under Basle capital norms. The hard earned money of Indian tax payers and depositors is at stake, as is the stability of the Indian banking system

- Failed to provide any numbers or clear allocations to Education - there was no mention of the Sarva Shiksha Abhyaan or the mid day meal program, or to pre-primary or secondary education or teacher training

- failed to provide allocations or a road map for Health or the action plans to eliminate illnesses or convert PHC’s to wellness centers

Many matters require further clarification such as the proposals to:

-reduce the limit for Cash donations to Rs 2000. AAP requests the Govt to clarify if Cheque donations between Rs 2000 and Rs 20,000 can still remain anonymous? Will the Electoral bonds remain anonymous? Will there be any limit to the number of donars under Rs 2000. AAP believes that full disclosure of donors must be made mandatory for political parties regardless of donation amount or mode of payment to stop corruption and cronyism in Politics.

- Outsource tax data to private firms for data mining: AAP wants the Govt to state what steps will be taken to protect the privacy of citizens and prevent harassment of honest tax payers

- Mention has been made of merging and listing PSU’s: AAP wants the Govt to clarify its privatization agenda and be transparent about the road map for the same

- Mention has been made of labour reforms: AAP wants the Govt to clarify what these are and what steps will be taken to protect daily wage and contract labour and assure them of decent and dignified working conditions

- Mention has been made of the proposal to scrutinize and list distressed assets: AAP wants the Govt to clarify what steps will be taken to prevent a sub prime type crisis as a result of this step

- FM says that the FIPB has been abolished: AAP wants the Govt to clarify what this means for FDI? Will Foreign Investment be allowed without any limits in all sectors? 

- FM has promised a law to seize assets of defaulting absconders: AAP wants the Govt to clarify what steps it is taking to seize assets of leading industrialists who have defaulted but not absconded

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