Discussion on Budget at VIT conclave sees mixed reactions

Chennai: “There are nine crore people in the country who are earning less than $1 a day. The government should come out with policies to make people to come out of poverty,” said chancellor of Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) G Viswanathan.

He was speaking at an all-party discussion on the Union Budget for 2019-20, organised by VIT, here.

Viswanathan stressed the need for electoral reforms with participation of government, political parties and people.

“A meagre one per cent of GDP allocation for health and less than four per cent allocation of the GDP for education is not a good sign for the development of the country. The government should come out with policies to make people to come out of poverty. It is a shame that the number of beggars is increasing in India and West Bengal tops the list. There were nine crore people in the country who are earning less than 1 US Dollar a day. It should be changed,” he said.

During his address, AIADMK MLA S Semmalai described the budget as visionary but demanded that the cess on fuel should be withdrawn. “The budget has shown a good path to the development of the country,” he said.

Vinoj P Selvam, the Youth Wing president of the State BJP described the budget as development oriented and it was budget for the next 25 years. He said various schemes in the budget did not come to the light which was unfortunate.

DMK MP Tiruchi N Siva in his speech said the budget turned out to be a disappointment. “There was no mention about eradication of unemployment. After demonetisation a lot of amount were still remained blocked as only Rs 15.71 lakh crore 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were deposited in the Banks when Rs 15.91 crore were in circulation.”

He added that GST has affected the manufacturing States and privatisation of profit making public sector units was a dangerous trend.

Spokesperson of Tamilnadu Congress Committee S Peter Alphonse said, in the budget the States had lost their autonomy. The new taxes were in the form of surcharge and cess, which came under non poolable sector, he said, adding that the budget did not offer anything to the people below the poverty line.

“It also lacked transparency as it did not show the ways how to meet the deficit between revenue and expenditure,” he said.

Columnist S Gurumurthy, who moderated the discussion, said the Union Budget was a great transformation and a sign of globalisation and liberalisation. G V Selvam, vice president of VIT was also present.

NT Bureau