Budget a cruel joke on poor, middle class and farmers: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

According to government data, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, more than 25,000 Indians died by suicide due to bankruptcy or indebtedness between 2018-2020.

Published: 11th February 2022 01:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2022 01:29 AM   |  A+A-

Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Terming the Budget a "cruel joke" on poor, middle class and farmers, Opposition leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday said it is sheer rigmarole and rumbling stories much to confusion of common people.

Participating in the discussion on General Budget in Lok Sabha, the Congress leader said, "Budget documents are perceived to be roadmap for future but what I have found there may be map but there is no road in this Budget. There is nothing for job creation, checking price rise, support to farmers and poor who have been facing hardship. Budget which has come on the backdrop of retail inflation over 6 per cent has nothing on controlling price rise, he said, adding, it is the Budget which "may be summarised as a zilch".

According to government data, he said, more than 25,000 Indians died by suicide due to bankruptcy or indebtedness between 2018-2020.

"According? to? the data,? suicides mong? the? unemployed? have? been? increasing? and touched a high 3,548 in 2020. The growing stress due to unemployment is in line with the persistently high levels of unemployment –acknowledged even by? the Government's? own? annual? surveys Periodic ?Labour? Force? Survey," he said.

On the contrary, he said, income of 142 rich have doubled from Rs 23.14 lakh crore to Rs 53.16 lakh crore.

Rich have become richer in the Modi regime while poor have become poorer because of policies of the government, he added.

Defending Congress leader Rahul Gandhi remark of 'zero sum budget', he said there nothing for the middle class, salaried class, farmers and poor.

"But you termed his remark as UP type...I fail to understand what is UP type," he said.

On Rahul Gandhi remark about two India, Chowdhury said, he was referring to one India for haves and other for have nots.

Quoting economists on inequality, he said, "India is now looking more like islands of California in a sea of sub-Saharan? Africa."

He said there has been substantial cut in social sector schemes.

For example, he said there has been cut in fertilizer subsidy by Rs 35,000 crore in the Budget while on crop insurance scheme by Rs 500 crore.

Quoting the National Sample Survey Report of September, 2021, he said, it has pointed out that the average income of a farmer is mere Rs 27 per day, and the average debt per farmer is Rs 74,000.

"The double whammy is, the per hectare cost of farming has increased by Rs 25,000 per year. In seven years, Modi Government has fleeced the farmers of an additional Rs 17,50,000 crore," he said.

Talking about bad loans in banking sector, Chowdhury said, it is due to people like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi who have looted the public money and roaming in foreign countries.

Write off in the public sector banks have increased 25 fold during 2014 to 2021, he said, adding, now the government attempting to sell public sector banks to business houses close to the government.


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