The Union budget 2011 presented by the Finance Minister today in the Parliament must be very disappointing for the common man for there is no proposal to combat the ever increasing inflation in the economy. The subsidies all on fuel, fertiliser and food has been reduced by all most 20,000 crores compared to what was provided in the last fiscal. While there is a reduction of Rs 11500 crores in Direct Taxes the resource mobilization has been made through an increase of a similar amount in indirect taxes the objective seems to be to rob the poor to pay the rich. 5 lakh crores of rupees is stated to be the revenue foregone in 2010-11 of which a whopping sum of Rs. 88000 crores is the concessions given to the Corporate Sector. The budget provision for agriculture development is also less than what it was earlier, indicative of an insensitiveness to the agonies of people below the poverty line.
The expectation of the middle class that the personal income taxation limit will be raised to Rs. 2 lakhs has been belied. The meager increase of Rs. 20,000 would not even be sufficient to maintain the real value level of non taxable limit of 2010-11.The announcement on direct tax concession is followed by the statement of an increased outsourcing of the Governmental functions to private corporate houses like Infosys. The eulogy for the CPC set up by the I.T. Department at Bangalore in the Budget speech of the Finance Minister is designed to seek the approval of the house for such vehicles out outsourcing elsewhere in the country. The Finance Minister has also announced that further financial sector reforms is also on the anvil. Therefore, contrary to the comments made by certain sections of the media this budget is right on the track of reforms enunciated by the Dr. Manmohan Singh two decades ago.
Since the huge demonstration and rally of workers traversed through the streets of Delhi on 23rd Feb. 2011 has not created any impact on the thinking of this Government, as is evidenced by this budget it is incumbent upon the trade union movement to strengthen its opposition towards the neo liberal economic policies by waging sustained and united struggles.