Post Mortem

No mention about jobs in the budget: Deliberate omission!

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/3/2019 12:25:04 PM IST

 If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine-Jim Barksdale

The interim finance minister presented the interim budget which is certainly the last one of the current government. As expected, the budget was a populist one. The budget echoed populism, rather than realism—considering the impending problems and not addressing them in realistic terms. However, we cannot expect anything radically different from this government except sops offered to diverse constituencies. With an eye on the forthcoming general elections, the Government at the Centre went ahead with lots of dolls, particularly to those in the agricultural sector, which the peasant and agriculture unions and organizations are aware of. 
The Government at the Centre being led by the BJP has a clear slant towards urban middle-class, favoring the industrial sector—crony capitalists and dominant castes, rather than those engaged in agricultural sector, those work in the informal sectors and the marginalized, though it raises its pitch for all as part of electioneering strategy. For the last 4-plus years, it has not addressed realistically the problems that the poor and vulnerable face in their day-to-day existence. The budget shows smart populism and undoubtedly evokes sentimentalism, but fails to address many challenges and issues that remain unaddressed, because the Government at the Centre has failed.  
The allocations to those sections that constitute the under-privileged and marginalized have been just marginal and paltry. The budget hardly represents any pro-poor schema. The budget presentation projected as if BJP as a party was releasing its election manifesto, rather than budget session in the Parliament. There was no clear articulation and rationale from the interim finance minister in his presentation. More importantly, there was no mention about job creation or the provisions or initiatives to augment employment possibilities. The reason why this has not been taken up is well known fact: India has seen a sharp rise in unemployment in the last couple of years and in concrete terms job generation is relatively slowed down though there was economic growth. Despite economic growth, it’s jobless growth. Nonetheless, the government has failed to initiate mechanisms and avenues that failed to ignite the deteriorating job-market.
Over and above, the Government at the Centre led by PM Modi has made it a “policy” and also a “recurring feature” to withhold the data because they would disclose/reveal the fiasco of the failure of his government. And so, he cleverly scripts his own narrative by generating data that are manipulated immersed in sugar-syrup that carries his version in such ways and then thrust upon the electorates, as if they were “true” and “authentic”. The present ruling dispensation can go all out and to any extent forcing and using the agencies of the government to generate data that enables PM Modi and BJP-RSS to harvest more vote. The classic example is NSSO, the country’s apex statistical body that failed to disclose escalation of joblessness in the country.   
Dr. John Mohan Razu

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