DIBRUGARH: The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Assam State Committee on Friday said that the Finance Minister’s Interim Budget speech was not connected to the Micro reality and was focused on a rosy picture of the economy before the Parliamentary election.
“Modi government has shown loyalty to corporates continuously by slashing corporate tax. Borrowing is at a record high and common people are suffering from price rise. There is no relief for unemployed youth, moreover unemployment rate crosses its forty-five years of records,” stated Ranjan Chowdhury, Secretary of AITUC, Assam State Committee.
He said, “This year’s budget was an election speech by the Finance Minister, praising her government, having done marvellous achievements in various walks of life by unabashedly using unsubstantiated data and falsehoods. The budget once again is entirely directed towards advantage to international finance capital, and government’s favourite Corporates at home as against Public sector enterprises, Cooperatives and MSMEs, as is evident from the policy announcement encouraging FDI, and favouring monopoly houses to take over post harvesting operations.”
“The drive of privatisation and sale of Public assets and infrastructure are to continue according to the budget. The tax reduction of rich and super rich would continue but the common man would be facing increased taxes to meet government’s deficit targets. The speech claims to have trained 1.4 crore youth, upskilled and reskilled 54 lakh youth and established 3000 new ITIs, hundreds of IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and Universities. But is silent on employment opportunities to them,” Chowdhury said.
He further added, “The fixed term employment is being implemented, outsourcing, contractualisation is encouraged and the sanctioned posts remain vacant. In the face of severe unemployment and hopelessness, we are witnessing how the young workers are being lured by BJP governments in states at the behest of the PMO to go to Israel, a war torn conflict zone, to pursue its policy of siding with US-Israel nexus of committing genocide against Palestinians and flouting the voice of world community for immediate ceasefire.”
“The speech claims to have given credit assistance to 74 lakh street vendors. Their own admission that only 2.3 lakh received credit the third time, lays bare the truth.The allocation of budget for MGREGA is continuously being reduced every year and this year also it is 5 percent less than the actual expenditure in 2022-23,” he said.
Chowdhury said, “This budget has given lowest ever provision for agriculture and allied services, a decline of 22.3 percent, 6 percent decline even from revised budget. The speech talks of “periodic increase of minimum support price’, while sidelining the demand for enactment of a law guaranteeing MSP. In the result that the Annadata is actually suffering as none of his demands have been addressed. The allocation for fertilizer subsidy is less than the spending in 2022-23. The policy is directed to annihilate the poor and marginal farmers.”
“Contrary to the false claim of the women participation in labour force, they have not even reached to the employment level what existed prior to Covid-19, the women’s paid employment has fallen dramatically adding to their miseries. Gender Parity Index for India has fallen further,” he said.
He further added, “The wage arrears of work done are also included in this allocation. Another truth is that only one percent of the 56 million households who applied for jobs were given work of 100 days only. Another naked truth is that 5.48 crore MGNREGA workers were removed from registered the jobs cards list.”