Union Budget is ‘anti-farmer’: Manish Sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday slammed the Union Budget 2022-23 and termed it as “anti-farmer”. Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s Finance Minister claimed that the government has reduced the allocation for Minimum Support Price (MSP) in the budget.

“The public had huge aspirations from the budget due to the pandemic related woes. The people have been left bereft. There’s nothing in this budget for the common man, nothing that will reduce the backbreaking inflation,” Sisodia said in a virtual conference.

He said, “They (Centre) reduced the targets and number of beneficiaries of the MSP. The target for the purchase of paddy and wheat has been reduced from 1,286 million tonnes to 1,208 million tonnes. MSP allocation has been reduced from 2.48 lakh crores to 2.37 lakh crores. They did not just reduce their targeted procurement but also the budget allocation essential for the agriculture sector from earlier 4.5 per cent to 3.8 per cent.”

“This is a complete fraud. The Centre itself is admitting that it is reducing the scope of the scheme (MSP) and the beneficiaries will reduce from 1.97 crore farmers to 1.68 crores. There couldn’t have possibly been a more anti-farmer budget in our history,” he added.

Talking about the budget share for the health sector, Sisodia said, “The pandemic taught the whole world that health infrastructure needed hefty investment to protect lives. But, the Central government has kept the health allocation as it was in the last year.”

“Education faced a huge blow because of Covid….But, the Central government in no way talked about the New Education Policy (NEP) in its budget. The policy says that the Centre must allocate six per cent of its budget to education for this policy to become a reality. But in reality, they reduced the already abysmal share of education from 2.67 per cent to 2.64 per cent,” Sisodia, who is also the Delhi education minister, said.

“The budget for skilling was reduced by a staggering 30 per cent. They talk about the merits of the NEP but continue to defund the education sector. There can not be a bigger hypocrite than this regime,” he added.

“The Centre claims they will create 60 lakh jobs…I thought they might introduce some new framework but this is merely a jumla and nothing else,” Sisodia said.

“Today, 5.5 crore people roam unemployed in India. They (Central government) want to fool our public by saying they’ll create 60 lakh jobs despite continuously failing at it and what will you honestly do by creating 60 lakh jobs in five years when 5.5 crores roam unemployed in the present,” he asserted.

Sisodia concluded with “dissatisfaction” over unchanged Income Tax slab. “Today, this country needed some relief in the income tax slabs. This would have helped our middle class regain purchasing power and enter the markets. This would have naturally helped the economy grow.”

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