The Union Budget 2015, presented by Finance Minister Jaitley on 28 Feb 2015, has clearly shown that the economic policies, direction and thrust of the BJP-led NDA government are no different from that of the Congress party. The budget presented by Modi government in 2014, soon after BJP came into power at the Centre, too, was identical to the interim budget presented by the UPA in Feb 2014.
Under the garb of the slogan “Sabke Saath Sabka Vikas”, the robbing of the working people to enrich the capitalists is continued in the 2015 Union budget of the Modi government. Like the previous Congress-led government, the present BJP-led government is acting in the interests of Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists. The Union Budget for 2015-16 aims to expand the space for private companies by cutting back on the already inadequate provision of public education, health and other social services. At the same time, it aims to expand public investment in rail and road infrastructure so as to reduce the average cost of transporting goods within the country. This is seen as one of the essential conditions for attracting the biggest capitalists of the world to invest their capital in India.
The focus of the budget is to make India “investment friendly” for Indian and foreign capitalists. This simply means that the Modi government will help the capitalists to earn profits higher than in other countries, to pay as little tax as possible, to allow them to bring and take out the capital without any restrictions. It is in this context that stated thrust of the Modi government budget is to improve the “ease of doing business in India”. This means that the government will ensure further liberalization of labour laws, dilute safety regulations, enable the acquisition of land without any qualification of obtaining consent or time-bound resettlement and rehabilitation of affected people, remove restrictions on closing of factories, make available infrastructure, etc. Giving the slogan of “make in India”, it is claiming that growth is possible only when capitalists are secured maximum profits without any restrictions. It has already taken several steps to liberalise labour laws in the interests of capitalists both Indian and foreign.
Despite the numerous incentives and relaxations in the interests of finance capital, announced by the Modi government since coming to power, neither Indian nor foreign capitalists have come forward to risk their capital for creating new production capacities. They know that working people have little savings to spend on buying new goods. They have now convinced the Modi government that the state should incur more debt to finance investments in infrastructure that private capital needs. Their demand is that the government should not cut its expenditure for the time being, as demanded by foreign rating agencies. The government has therefore agreed to keep the fiscal deficit larger than envisaged earlier in this budget.
At the same time, as the financial year progresses, the Finance Minister will use the spectre of growing budget deficit to cut back on expenditure outlays announced in the budget. Bourgeois economists use the issue of budget deficit in both ways to suit the bourgeoisie. On the one hand, a larger deficit has to be endured in order to ensure “growth” in the interests of capital, and on the other, expenditure on social services for the people – on food, homes, education and health, has to be cut back in order to control the deficit.
In the budget speech, the Finance Minister accepted that the income of farmers and agricultural labourers has fallen during the last year, making lives of crores of people even harder. In order that the peasantry and agricultural labourers who toil to produce food for the country are able to provide for themselves and their families, quality inputs have to be made available to the tillers at a fixed price and they need to be ensured a remunerative price for their farm produce taking into account all their input costs. Contrary to this, the committee formed by the government has proposed dismantling of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) which today procures food grains from farmers at the government announced support price.
The Modi government says that every Indian will have a house by 2022; for this 2 crore houses in urban areas and 4 crore houses in rural areas will be built. However, it makes a measly provision of Rs 14,000 crore in the budget for this purpose. This amounts to Rs.2,300 per home! The government has launched a campaign of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ across the whole country, but considers the provision of Rs 2000 crore enough for all its programmes of Women and Child Development!
Like in earlier budgets, interest payments to financial monopolies and expenditure for war preparations remain the two biggest items. The spending on purchase of new arms has been again raised in this budget, by about 11% over the previous year revised estimates of Rs.2.22 lakh crore. The government is ensuring that India holds its place as the largest arms buyer in the world, as it has been in the previous three years. Finance capital continues to have the largest claim on budget outlay, with interest payment at 20 paise for every Re spent.
From all the anti-people steps and measures to rob working people and further enrich the capitalists announced by the government in its budget, people are now clear that Modi’s achhe din are for the capitalists only. Within a few months people have realized that changing the party in power has not solved any of their problems.
It is very clear that in a capitalist society, the economy is oriented to maximising the interests of the capitalists. The government, whether of the Congress or the BJP, manages the economy in the interests of the ruling bourgeois class. In the present era of imperialism, the interest of all others are subordinated to those of the monopoly bourgeoisie and finance capital. The economy is oriented to rob the people to enrich finance capital. The Budget of the Modi government has precisely done this task assigned to it.
Anti-people steps announced in the Budget
Steps to further enrich capitalists by robbing working people