Left attacks Centre for ‘lack of vision’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 29, 2016

The CPI (M) attacked the Centre for presenting a Budget that is as “lacking in vision” as it aims to “make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer”.

General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said at a time when global and thus the domestic economy is contracting, the need was to expand the economy by fuelling demand. But, the Centre has done the exact opposite by raising indirect taxes that will limit demand.

“The direct tax proposals will lead to a revenue loss of ₹1,060 crores; indirect tax proposals are to yield ₹20,670 crores while burdening consumers. The Finance Minister has also given a very perverse signal as far as tax discipline is concerned, by announcing yet more amnesty schemes for the benefit of tax defaulters. They are taxes on products that put the burden on the consumer.” said Yechury.

He said the Centre’s claim about the impressive growth performance was belied by the revenue realisation figures for the year 2015-16. The revenues from corporate and personal income taxes have been far short of the budget estimate – by a whopping sum of nearly ₹46,000 crores. “Lower revenue realisations have affected adversely the States’ share in central taxes. The fiscal deficit targets have actually been met by a higher realisation of excise duties – ₹54,000 crore more than Budget estimates. Taking advantage of the fall in global oil prices – instead of passing the benefit to the people – revenue from excise duties were raised,” said Yechury.

Yechury accused the Finance Minister of reducing the Centre’s expenditure to GDP ratio further in his “preoccupation with further reduction of the fiscal deficit”. In agriculture, he said, the main increase is by way of transfer to banks and insurance companies that has no real benefit to the farmers. “Both food and fertiliser subsidies have been cut by ₹5,000 and ₹2,000 crore respectively. The expenditure on Tribal Sub Plan, which is supposed to be 8.6 per cent of the total plan expenditure, is only 4.4 per cent – a shortfall of ₹24,000 crore. Allocations for Minority Welfare have fallen in real terms. The allocation for the ICDS has been slashed by ₹1,500 crore despite the direction of the Supreme Court for its universalisation, which would have required an additional ₹10,000 crore,” he said.

“Similarly, in the case of the SC Sub-Plan, the expenditure is pegged at 7 per cent of the total, when it should be 16.6 per cent – a shortfall of ₹52,470 crores,” Yechury added.

Published on February 29, 2016
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