The article on the Union Budget carried in the March 16-31, 2016 issue of MEL is of great interest to all those who are interested in a future for the people of our country. It is also worth noting that under the aegis of democracy, what really exists is a government of the rich, for the rich.
How can one prove this simple proposition? Indeed, quite simply by reading the budget that is presented year after year by the Finance Minister towards the end of February. The clear class character of the government is there for everyone to see. It is a fact that India today stands as one of the worst places in the world to live in, with our country coming 118 out of about 150 countries. Why is it that the conditions in the country are so atrocious and yet major financial institutions across the world and governments across the world praise India as being the world's largest democracy? Simply because this democracy allows the vast plunder of its people.
The article begins by pointing out that a study of the budget would reveal that it is geared to helping the biggest monopolies maximize their profits. While there is the hoax that the Finance Ministry somehow consults not just the spokesmen of the biggest monopolies through their front ends such as the FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM, but also that it consults trade unions and peasant organizations.
In the last year, the world saw a dramatic decline in the price of petroleum, and yet during this year, the people of India did not see any benefit accrue to them, but rather continued price rise and increased indirect tax burden. Social spending continues to shrink, and there is a huge unproductive expenditure in defence and in interest payments on loans taken by the government. The article puts forward figures to support all these claims based on publicly available figures. There are other hoaxes in the budget such as the the claim that the budget is pro-farmer whereas this is just the result of a book adjustment. Furthermore, some obvious changes were proposed such as to the Employees Provident Fund, which was to be taken back in the face of expected protests to give a pro-people facade to the Government. The people of India and the working class should not be fooled by the budget and the openly disingenuous speech of the Finance Minister and understand what Indian fiscal policy is really about. Let the struggle for the emancipation people continue in the face of ever increasing attacks on them.
A. Narayan, Bangalore