Vol. XLIII No. 07 February 17, 2019

Week in Parliament

CPI(M) Parliamentary Office

THE budget session began as usual with the president’s address to joint session of parliament on January 31, 2019. After this, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha met and made obituary references and adjourned for the day. On the next day, minister for finance Piyush Goyal presented the interim budget 2019-20 in Lok Sabha and subsequently it was laid in Rajya Sabha, along with the Fiscal Policy Statement 2019-20. Rajya Sabha hardly conducted any transactions during this time due to protests by members on various issues.

In Lok Sabha, discussion was held on the motion of thanks on president's address. A number of amendments were given by various CPI(M) MPs in both the houses. While speaking on this, Md Salim said that Indian economy is today in a very poor state. In this country, 50 per cent of the wealth is concentrated with nine corporate houses. Nowadays, inequality is also rising in the society. Farmers are also not getting remunerative prices. Unemployment rate is also on the rise. Survey pertaining to labour data of 2016-17 has not been submitted. The government is still collecting the required data. Earlier, it was used to be compiled within a year. This shows that this government is scared of publishing data. Beneficiaries of PMCM are being sent letters. More than Rs 435 crore has been spent on letters sent across the country. One fourth amount is being spent on such letters. 56 per cent of the fund of Beti Bachao, Beti Padho scheme have been spent on advertisement only. Never before in the last 4.5 decades, this country has witnessed such a high rate of unemployment. Students are fighting for their stipend. Initially the government increased the fee and then it is making promise to provide scholarships. Saradha and Narada cases, which are under consideration of the Supreme Court, are not under the jurisdiction of federal government. This government did not hold any meeting of the Ethics Committee pertaining to Narada scam. How this government is going to curb corruption. The government has also not constituted JPC on Rafale issue.

Jitendra Chaudhury participated in the discussion on the budget and said that there is no mention about the future of the youth in it. There has been no mention about the filling of vacancies. Under Mudra scheme, loan is not being given without any collateral. The recommendation made by the Swaminathan Commission on agriculture have not been implemented. This government has offered Rs 6000 a year to farmers. It is an insult to them. There is nothing about how tenant farmers, sharecroppers, landless people, beneficiaries of the Forest Rights Act and agricultural labourer would get this benefit. As regard to MGNREGA, the allocation has been decreased. For the backward classes, the post-matric scholarship has been reduced. The allocations for self-employment scheme for Safai Karamcharis, National Fellowship for SC, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, IGNOU have been reduced. The budget allocation for the people belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes has been reduced. Under the Beti Bachao, Beti Padao Scheme, 56 per cent of the money allocation has been spent for only advertisement. Under the Nirbhaya Scheme, less than 30 per cent of last year's allocation has been utilised. A paltry sum has been allocated for the unorganised sector, he said.