Government has failed to address economic concerns: CPI-M

February 16th, 2009 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has failed to address the “serious concerns” of the fast deteriorating economic situation in the country under the impact of the global economic crisis, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said Monday.

“The Indian economy is currently witnessing a slowdown, with job cuts and unemployment is on the rise,” the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member said here.

“The claim of being the second fastest growing economy in the world will not provide any relief to the millions of workers in sectors like textiles, gems and jewellery, leather, construction etc. who are losing their jobs,” Yechury said.

Farmers who grow cash crops like cotton, rubber and coffee were also in trouble, he said.

“The interim budget, which is necessarily an account of the expenditure and revenues in keeping with the revised estimates of budget for 2008-09, has exposed the inadequate response of the UPA government to the severe impact of the global recession on the Indian economy,” Yechury said.

The CPI-M leader said the plan expenditure of around Rs.2.85 lakh crore (Rs.2.85 trillion), which was less than five percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), amounted “to an extremely weak fiscal stimulus.”

“Compared to the fiscal stimulus plans being announced by countries across the world, this is extremely meagre,” he said.

He said the government had spent only around Rs.40,000 crore (Rs.400 billion) as plan expenditure beyond what was budgeted last year, which was less than one percent of India’s GDP.

He said the “alarming” shortfall of Rs.60,000 crore (Rs.600 billion) in tax revenue collection in 2008-09 was a direct impact of the economic slowdown.

“The finance minister has tried to dress up the revenue shortfall as a part of the stimulus plan in terms of tax concessions.”

“In view of the global economic crisis and economic slowdown, the UPA government could have announced at least its intention of providing relief to the people through massive increase in public investment in agriculture, rural development, social sectors and infrastructure besides steps to protect workers and farmers from lay offs and price crashes,” he said.

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