modi: Opposition attacks government over unemployment and privatization in Rajya Sabha
During the general discussion on the 2022-23 budget, Dola Sen (Trinamool Congress) and Elamaram Kareem of CPI(M) also criticized the government for its “destructive privatization drive” and called the divestment policy a “Dirty India “.
Taking part in the debate, Sen said that when the BJP government led by Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, he said he would create 2 million jobs a year and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in his speech on the this year’s budget said the government would create 60 lakh jobs over the next five years.
“I want to ask who is telling the truth?” says Sen.
Along the same lines, AAP’s Sanjay Singh said the government’s claims that it would provide 60,000 new jobs was an admission of its failure to deliver on the past promise of 2 million jobs.
In fact, Sen said, even before the pandemic, for the first time after independence, the unemployment rate was the highest in 45 years.
“In just four years, from 2016-17 to 2020-21, despite Modiji’s Make in India policy, calls and pressure, the number of people employed in manufacturing (has) almost halved,” he said. she asserted. .
Noting that in India, 5 million young people join the labor market on average per year, she said: “(It is) very unfortunate but it is a fact that this budget has not given any assurance to these young people. , women, migrant workers, unemployed employees, even MGNREGA workers.”
The allocation of MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) funds has been reduced, Sen lamented, adding that Rs 3,358 crore remains to be paid to MGNREGA workers “who get employment for only 100 days in a year”.
Sharing similar sentiments, Kareem said, “What was needed was to introduce an urban employment guarantee scheme. On the contrary, it reduced the expenses of MNREGA.”
He pointed to issues such as loss of income, worsening poverty and hunger, and rising commodity prices.
“No budget has been presented in the recent period at a time when the economy is going through such a difficult situation. In this scenario, what was needed in the budget was a strong push towards job creation and l ‘increase in domestic demand,’ he said, saying the budget failed to address those concerns.
DMK MP Kanimozhi pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the plight of the poor and marginalized, led to job losses and affected sectors like tourism and hospitality and that “the road to recovery is still very dark.
She said the Union’s budget must balance short-term fiscal needs with structural reform, to support medium-term growth, given the Covid pandemic.
“However, nothing has been done in this regard and the road to recovery is very fragile,” Kanimozhi said.
She claimed the only safeguard over the past three years was economic uncertainty, which the Omicron variant has now amplified.
Attacking the government’s privatization agenda, Kareem said, “The Union Budget 2022-23 was presented against the backdrop of a desperate and destructive privatization drive, oblivious to the needs of the common man… ”
Sen also accused the BJP-led government of abusing its majority in both houses of parliament to privatize “national assets”.
“…Modiji’s Make in India has practically become Sale India,” she said.
She claimed that the government’s “national monetization pipeline” lacks the mandate of the people as the BJP “never mentioned anything about this massive economic overhaul in its 2014 and 2019 election manifesto”.
Kanimozhi also raised questions regarding the inadequate budget allocation for health and claimed that health care should be the top priority.
“Unless the budget allocation for medical care and infrastructure increases to 6% of GDP, the country may not be able to serve its 140 crore population,” she warned.
Opposition members have also sought to corner the government on its promises of doubling farmers’ incomes, housing for all and fast loans for eligible SMEs and start-ups.
“In 2022, all the promises are still a distant dream,” Kanimozhi remarked.
Against the Prime Minister’s claim that India is economically prosperous, Sen said the Global Hunger Index placed India in a dismal 101st place out of 116 countries and in comparison even Bhutan was better placed than India.
Calling on the government to focus its efforts on moving the country forward, Singh said, “Who are you to decide what people should wear, what they should eat or how they should live.”