CPI (M) warns government against eco policies
The CPI (M) on Friday warned the UPA government of "mightier struggles" of the people against its economic policies if it did not carry out mid-course correction to fulfill its 'pro-people' commitments in the last budget of its five-year term.
"This is the last opportunity" for the government "to effect a mid-course correction to redeem its own pro-people pledges in the Common Minimum Programme. This is the fifth and final budget of this UPA government," party Politburo member Sitaram Yechury has said.
In an editorial in the forthcoming issue of 'People's Democracy', he said if the government did not take such steps in the 2008-09 budget, then it "must be prepared to face broader and mightier struggles of the people against its policies".
Expressing discontent over the "criminal waste of opportunity to expand public investment" in agriculture and social sectors, Yechury said, "the reason why this happened, and unfortunately may happen again this year, is because of the neo-liberal mindset of our ruling classes.
"Instead of utilising the surpluses accruing through higher tax returns to finance public investment, the pre-occupation is to reward the corporate sector with further tax concessions in return for the higher revenues that they have contributed.
"As a result, the effective tax rate for the corporate sector is substantially less than the declared tax rate," he said.
Maintaining it was unfortunate that government was giving the 'lack of resources' argument for not increasing public expenditure in the sectors that affect majority of the people, the CPI (M) leader said this argument no longer applied.
This was because the last four budgets have seen governmental revenues growing on an average by at least 20 per cent more than the projected targets.
"This year the pre-budget estimates indicate that this target could well exceed by a whopping 40 per cent. The UPA government, hence, has the resources at its disposal to massively expand public investment" which would have given relief to a vast majority of the people, Yechury said.
However, as a result of the prevailing "mindset", benefits of higher revenues are "returned to the rich" through tax concessions instead of using them for the welfare of the poor. "Secondly, to the extent of tax concessions, potential future tax revenues are foregone.
On both counts, the divide between the 'shining' and 'suffering' India is bound to widen," Yechury said.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Among the key highlights, the budget is expected to have a special allocation for free Covid-19 vaccination at Delhi government hospitals.
- The Gender Budget Statement is proposed to be prepared in two parts. Part A- reflecting schemes that are 100% targeted towards women and girl beneficiaries; and Part B- reflecting Pro-women and girl schemes in which 30 to 99% allocations are towards women and girls.
- If the Supreme Court's five-judge bench accepts that the judgment in Indra Sawhney case should be modified, the case will have to be referred to an 11-judge bench.
- On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those killed in the fire.