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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

RSS offshoots give budget a thumbs-up

Last year, the labour wing of the RSS had called for a country-wide demonstration to protest against the “labour unfriendly” budget that, it claimed, failed to address the concerns of the labour sector.

budget Updated: Feb 03, 2019 15:17 IST

Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BJP leader offer sweets to farmers during celebrations for the Union Budget announcements, in Bengaluru on February 2.
BJP leader offer sweets to farmers during celebrations for the Union Budget announcements, in Bengaluru on February 2.(AP Photo/ Representative Image)
         

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliates that have been at loggerheads with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government over its purported failure so far to offer sops to farmers, the middle class and the labour force on Friday gave the interim budget a thumbs-up.

Offshoots such as the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Laghu Udyog Bharti and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh were unanimous in approving the ₹6,000 annual cash dole for farmers with a landholding of less than 5 hectares and the setting up of a Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for the welfare of cows. The budget also contained a proposal to offer a monthly pension of ₹3,000 to unorganised workers such a household help and rickshaw pullers.

“The proposal to exempt income up to ₹5 lakh from tax is a great relief for salaried employees who constitute major part of the middle class. The TDS threshold of interest [yielded by fixed deposits and post office deposits] being enhanced from ₹10,000 to ₹40,000 is highly beneficial for the old, who are dependent on savings deposits,” said Saji Narayanan, president of the BMS.

Last year, the labour wing of the RSS had called for a country-wide demonstration to protest against the “labour unfriendly” budget. The BKS, an outfit that works with farmers, has also given the budget its stamp of approval. BKS general secretary Badri Narayan Chaudhari said the annual income support of ₹6,000 to farmers might seem little, but there was no chance of it being delayed or usurped as it would be transferred directly to beneficiaries’ bank accounts.

“We are happy...that a Kamdhenu Aayog will be set up, and also the decision to support organic farming since there were subsidies for chemical fertilisers and equipment but nothing to help organic farming that has lesser produce but is safe for the environment,” he said.

The Laghu Udyog Bharti, which has been critical of demonetisation and the goods and services tax, has welcomed the provisions that will give small and medium enterprises relief. “Increasing the tax exemption and raising the threshold on interest will benefit the micro and small sector operations,” said Jitendra Gupta, outfit’s president. But it has sought a separate department or ministry to deal with the small- scale sector, instead of clubbing it with the medium, micro and small scale industries.

Swadeshi Jagran Manch convenor Ashwani Mahajan said the government should consider extending help to other non-farm sectors such as poultry and mushroom cultivation. “Just as the government has created a department for fisheries, there should be focus on other non-farm sectors...these are areas with potential for job creation.”

First Published: Feb 02, 2019 23:14 IST