‘Budget not for Aam Admi’ – Himachal CPI(M)

Shimla: Communist Party of India (Marxist) has reacted by saying that the budget is grossly inadequate in meeting the challenge poised by economic recession, mounting job losses and declining purchasing power of the masses.

This budget neither provides a stimulus for growth nor meets the needs of “inclusive growth” for the aam admi, said Tikender Panwar, member secretariat CPI(M).

The budget far from meeting the requirements of the people will further widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Allocation needed to implement the Right to Education is shockingly absent in the Budget. Increase in budgetary allocation for elementary education is less than Rs.200 crore.

Crucial sectors, like agriculture and rural development, where the effects of the prolonged agrarian crisis and the agricultural growth slowdown of 2008-09 have been severe, have been provided little support in terms of plan outlays.

Lowering of interest rates to 4% needed for farm loans to make agriculture sustainable has not been done, the party says, instead only an incentive to repay loans on time has been announced.

Series of direct and indirect tax concessions in the wake of the global economic crisis has led to tax revenue erosion of as much as Rs. 4.18 lakh crore in 2008-09, the party spokesman claimed.

Rather than withdrawing such concessions to enable greater resource mobilisation and spending in critical areas, the finance minister has chosen to extend these concessions for 2009-10. Abolition of the fringe benefit tax and commodities transaction tax would adversely impact mobilization, he said.

With regard to Himachal the party stated that the budget failed to announce a special package for the hill state. Even by having two ministers in the cabinet failed to get the state its due, said Panwar.

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