-Dr Ashwani Mahajan
Swadeshi Jagran Manch congratulates the Finance Minister for presenting a budget, which will help revival of the economy impacted by worst pandemic of the century. Despite a Fiscal Deficit of 6.8 percent next year, we will be able to not only have high growth of GDP, but also bring back employment opportunities, hampered during pandemic last year and killed in the last two decades due to onslaught of Chinese imports.
SJM has been appreciative of the government for its enhanced and judicious spending for the survival of the people who lost their jobs or faced income losses, by providing free food and other essential steps for their livelihood, to bring the economy back on track, both in rural and urban areas.
Allocation of more funds for infrastructure, the announcement of new infrastructure projects, the efforts for the revival of industries closed due to Chinese imports, an unprecedented increase of 137% in spending on health, the allocation of additional funds for research and development (R&D) are all welcome measures.
Despite being a developing country, the way in which India has dealt with pandemic is exemplary. It’s hoped that we shall be equally successful in bringing the economy back to growth trajectory soon.
Production Linked Incentives(PLIs) worth Rs 1.97 lakh crore is a major step towards revival of manufacturing in the country. A provision of rupees 20 thousand crores for share capital for the establishment of development financial institution (DFI) is again an appreciable move.
A jump from rupees 4.12 lakh crores kept in Budget 2020-21 for capital expenditure to a provision of Rs 5.54 lakh crore for the coming year is welcome. Provision of capital expenditure of Rs 1.08 lakh crore for roads, apart from provision of capital expenditure of Rs 1.07 lakh crore for railways, efforts for metro, waterways, ports, petroleum and natural gas are all commendable.
However, announcement of carrying out disinvestment of BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India , Pawan Hans, Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), manufacturer of rolling stock for Metro etc. is a cause of major concern. The government should reconsider this decision. The announcement of privatisation of public sector banks and an insurance company is also worrying. It would be better that instead of doing a strategic investment of these undertakings, efforts are made to improve the performance of these enterprises; and after that only their equity is disinvested in the market. The strategic disinvestment of the enterprises created by tax payers money is not right. Sale through equity route would be a far better and transparent option, after improving their performance.
On the other hand, raising the FDI limit in the insurance sector from 49% at present to 74% is also worrisome as increasing foreign dominance in the financial sector is not a prudent step. This increases foreign dominance over the financial resources of the country and impacts the development of the country.
-National Co Convenor, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch