In a quick reaction to the speech delivered by the Union Finance Minister while presenting central budget for the year 2018-19, Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), issued the following statement on 1 February, 2018 :
Union Budget is supposed to be a statement of the government’s policy in regard to the fundamental economic issues concerning people’s life. People’s life is devastated by the problems of mounting unemployment, harrowing price rise, closure of one after another existing industries, increasing job loss, fall in wages and rising invasion of highly exploitative contract-casual labour system, systematic as well as systemic deprivation of the poor farmers of minimal price of agricultural produce, spurt in migrant labour, growing suicides of the peasants and retrenched workers, ugly widening of the gap between the handful of rich and millions of wretched countrymen, sharp fall in productive investment, absence of rudimentary healthcare and access to education, reckless misappropriation of bank funds by a few industrial houses in the form of defaulted loan, domination of black money, rampant corruption and so forth. But none of these has any mention in the budget, let alone being addressed. Instead, the economic spectacle as projected in the speech is of being hunky-dory in every respect, shining brightly with the prospect of a thumping growth which would benefit all and sundry. In a bid to cover gloom with an epaulette of downright falsehood, the Finance Minister has claimed that demonetization which, the whole country knows, had at one stroke made life yet more nightmarish for the impoverished peasants, daily wagers, venders, ordinary shop owners as well as small business and caused death to hundreds, has been greeted by the people as ‘emblem of honesty’. Similarly, GST which has dealt another severe blow to the people at large as well as the small and middle industries has been described to be a path-breaking reform in taxation policy giving so many positive results.
Thus the Budget speech for the year 2018-19 read out by the Finance Minister in the parliament amidst continuous thumping of the tables by the BJP ministers and MPs, has been nothing but a pre-election propaganda document of his party and the government that teemed in hollow claims of success and customary announcements of various schemes and plans, all purposively tagged with the Prime Minister’s name, and pretended to be in the welfare of the countrymen. The entire budget is vulgarly pro-rich, pro-corporate and highly anti-people and hence would bring about more wails and woes to the toiling millions while the super-rich, the ruling monopolists would continue to make fortunes in the much-trumpetted regime of ‘digital economy’ and rule of a government which shamelessly arrogates to itself ‘premium of honesty’ by bluffing the countrymen with surfeit of counterfeit promises and subterfuges. We call upon the suffering countrymen to rise up in vehement protest against such a documented deception in the name of country’s annual budget.