Opposition slams Centre on demonitisation, farmers’ plight
The Opposition in Rajya Sabha on Monday attacked the Centre over demonetisation, burgeoning NPAs, and plight of farmers. BJP members countered the charges saying adequate monetary support has been given to welfare schemes like MGNREGA and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in the annual budget schemes announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
While resuming the debate on General Budget, Samajwadi Party (SP) member Naresh Agarwal targeted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for meeting with capitalists but not the farmers before finalising the budget. Highlighting the farmers’ plight, he said “the farmers are not getting minimum support price . They promised that GDP would grow but it is declining now. If GDP goes down to 6 per cent, then youth will come on the streets.”
Referring to massive victory of BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Agarwal said “It was the PM’s victory and not that of the BJP.” In an apparent reference to Yogi Adityanath’s elevation as Chief Minister of the State, Agarwal said “We had seen the political image, we have to see the administrative image. We have given six months time to the new Government before commenting on its performance.”
Expressing concern over growing non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks, he said “The Government should inform how much promissory notes were issued by RBI before demonetisation and how much have been returned. Whether any black money has returned to the country.”
Ridiculing the committee on minimum support prices being headed by an IAS officer, the SP MP said “An IAS officer is not in a position to know the condition of farmers. Rather two farmers should be in the MSP committee to decide the minimum supporting price for any crop.”
Earlier BJP MP Shankarbhai Bhegad welcomed the initiatives announced by Jaitley in the 2017-18 budget for the welfare of the people and said the Government has announced plans to electrify all villages by 2019 and every village in the country will be provided drinking water facility.
While Jharna Das Baidya (CPI-M) said the Government had failed to provide adequate monetary support to various schemes meant for the welfare of poor in the Union Budget, Tiruchi Siva (DMK) attacked the Government on the demonetisation initiative, saying it has failed to achieve any of its intended purposes from the exercise.
Participating in the debate Congress member M V Rajeev Gowda made a strong pitch in the Rajya Sabha for State funding of elections. He said money from the public exchequer collected through means like taxation should be used to fund the electoral expenditure of political parties and their candidates.
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