The Lok Satta Party today described the Union budget as lack luster. There is little to write home about it barring the Government’s outlay crossing the Rs.10 lakh crore mark.
Talking to the media, Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said that Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had formulated the budget with an eye on the elections in a few States in the next few months. He allowed the golden opportunity to craft a historic budget in the context of a global recession and a stable government and steady growth in the Indian economy in the country to slip through his fingers.
Dr. JP pointed out that no bold attempt had been made to create either employment opportunities or boost agricultural growth since the focus was on winning the upcoming elections in States. Since 70 percent of farmers are outside the institutional fold, they are not going to benefit from the increase in agricultural loans.
Dr. JP said: “Even now, the allocation for healthcare in the country remained where it was for decades – only one percent of the GDP. Educational allocations still remain at 3.5 percent of the GDP. There is no concerted attempt to eliminate poverty. Instead, there is a conscious attempt to give short-term sops to the poor to use them as vote banks, while perpetuating poverty.
“The revenue deficit also has reached 4.8 percent of the GDP or about Rs.215,000 crore. That means, the Government is spending only for day-to-day expenditure about Rs.600 crore more than its income every single day. The interest burden has exceeded Rs.300,000 crore, and this year’s additional debt alone is Rs.400,000 crore. If the States’ deficits are added, the combined fiscal deficit will probably reach 12 pre percent of the GDP. There is no road map to reduce the fiscal deficit. As a result, the younger generation is going to inherit a crushing burden of debt on account of the Governments’ profligacy.”