CPI leader Venkatachalam seeks separate budget for agriculture
A call for a separate budget for agriculture has been made by National Executive Committee Member of the Communist Party of India, C H Venkatachalam. Participating in the discussion on the Union Budget-2016-2017 organised by the VIT University, Vellore at Chennai, Venkatachalam said that the economic reforms have not benefited the poor even 25 years after the initiation of the reforms process by the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh in 1991.
The Union Budget 2016-17 will only further increase the disparity between the rich and the poor. It provides more and more concessions to the rich, and no concessions to the poor. The allocation for agriculture does not address the problems in agriculture by failing to provide for modernisation of agriculture. “If the government can write off Rs 2,00,000 crores of corporate loans, why not waive the loans of the farmers? It has done nothing to address the problem posed by bad loans which constituted Rs.8,00,000 crores”, he said.
The CPI leader said that the Central government should increase the credit-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio in order that the farmers get more loans. A separate budget for agriculture alone can solve the problems of the farmers, he said. VIT Chancellor G Viswanathan who presided the meet said that the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) should take joint efforts to avoid tax evasion in order to end corruption and ensure all round development of the country.
He requested the Central government to end the shortage of medical seats in India. He said that as against a requirement of five lakh medical seats, the medical colleges in the country offeres only 50,000 seats, as a result medical aspirants go abroad to countries like China, Russia and Philippines to pursue medical education. Seventy five per cent of the 13,000 medical students in China are Indians, and this trend should end, he said.
S Peter Alphonse (Tamil Maanila Congress) criticised the Union Budget for not increasing the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farmers, and for failing to address the massive unemployment problem in India. About 1.5 lakh unemployed graduates roll out each year, while various sectors including the IT and transport have seen a massive reduction in jobs, he said.
Spokesperson of Congress, Americai V Narayanan, said that the Central government has not only failed to increase the MSP for agricultural produce but has also asked the state governments not to increase the price. The government has only provided 3 per cent of the budget for primary and secondary education, which speaks of its indifference towards this sector, he said.
Rajya Sabha MP and Central Committee Member of the Communist Party of India (Marxists), T K Rangarajan asserted that the government should take steps to increase the domestic purchasing capacity.