Farmers' plight a key issue; not addressed in Budget: Oppn
New Delhi: The Opposition on Thursday continued its offensive against the government over the Union Budget, alleging that several KEY issues like agriculture distress remained unaddressed.
Speaking during the discussion on the Budget, TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi dubbed it as "jumla" (rhetoric) and alleged that the government had failed to resolve the problems of farmers or provide better health services, education and infrastructure.
Disapproving of remarks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against his predecessors Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi in the Lok Sabha while replying to the debate on presidential address yesterday, Trivedi said there could be a difference of opinion but there should not be biases.
"Rajiv Gandhi gave his life for the country. Indira Gandhi gave her life for the country," Trivedi said.
Claiming that West Bengal is a model for the country in several areas, Trivedi said the Centre could ask state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra to share their views in these matters.
He alleged that GST and demonetisation crippled the economy and hit the GDP hard.
J Jayavardhan (AIADMK) asked the government to include revenues earned from cess and surcharges to the divisible pool so that states too get their share.
Prem Singh Chandumajhra of NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal said political parties did not give enough consideration to the distress in agriculture sector and demanded a special session only to discuss the issue
Rajan Vichare, an MP of NDA ally Shiv Sena which shares an uneasy relationship with the BJP, said although the budget has been praised by many in the country, the middle class is not happy with it.
Participating in debate on Budget 2018-19, expelled RJD leader Rajesh Ranjan (Pappu Yadav) said that the prime minister spoke about welfare of farmers but his government did not waive the loan of 9.82 crore farmers.
He claimed that farmers suicide has increased by more than 40 per cent in India and 67 per cent youths have quit farming.
Ranjan observed that India provides only USD 62 as subsidy to a Indian farmer compared to USD 26,000 provided by the US.
Noting that BJP is in power in both Bihar and at the Centre, he demanded that at least now the Union government should grant Bihar "special category status".
Rajan also demanded scrapping of Medical Council of India (MCI).
Participating in debate, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal (All India United Democratic Front) said that large areas of the country are not getting benefits of development.
Ajmal demanded that floods in Assam be declared a national calamity. He also said that Assam's border with Bangladesh should be sealed.
Kaushalendra Kumar of JD(U) demanded that the proposed Patna metro should be extended to Bodh Gaya.
Kumar also said that a five-star hotel should be built in Nalanda and Bihar should be granted a special category status.
Participating in the discussion on the Union budget, Uday Pratap Singh (BJP) said it is pro-farmer and demanded further amendments in the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act (APMC) Act.
His party colleague Lakhan Lal said the budget lays the foundation of new India, which is the mission of the Narendra Modi-led government.
BJP MP Ganesh Singh defended the budget and said the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi should reply to the issues raised by the prime minister on Wednesday.
"You are asking about the Rafale deal but who will reply on Bofors and the submarine scam.
"There have been many misdeeds during the Congress rule and the prime minister is trying to taking the country on the path of the development. People of the country are looking towards the prime minister," Singh said.
Another BJP MP Abhishek Singh asked the Congress to refrain from insulting those selling pakoras or else they will be reduced to just five seats in Lok Sabha.
He was referring to the Congress' criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi remark in a recent interview that a person selling pakodas should be considered employed.
"Last time you made fun of a tea seller, your seats were reduced to 44," Abhishek Singh said.
Opposing the Budget, N K Premachandran (RSP) said it has has miserably failed to address the concerns expressed in the economic survey about declining trend of investment and savings, rising crude oil prices and stress in the farm sector among others.
"It is clearly visible now that government has failed in controlling the fiscal deficit," he said. Premchandran asked on what basis the cost of production for giving MSP to be farmers will be calculated.
The government must clarify this, he added.
Rabindra Kumar Jena (BJD) also raised this issue. He demanded better remuneration for anganwadi and asha workers.