20 December 2023
Vikram Sahney, Member of Rajya Sabha from Punjab have raised issues on supplementary demand for grants bill presented in Parliament.
Shri Sahney highlighted that the net additional cash out go will be Rs. 58,378 Crores and it will add to the already high fiscal deficit of 5.9% of GDP against mandated limit of 3% by FRBM Act.
On Agriculture, Shri Sahney demanded that there should be representation of Punjab in MSP and CACP Committee. While MSP should be actually given for crops other than wheat and rice as notified. Shri Sahney given example that MSP on corn is Rs. 2090 but actually it is being sold between Rs. 700-1,000 per tonne.
Shri Sahney suggested that rather than being passing on bucks on air pollution suitable budgetary provisions should be made to provide crop residue machines like Happy seeder, Baler, to remove and collect the stubble for use in renewable energy.
Shri Sahney added that India’s per capita income is even lower than that of neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan and that top 10% of the population holds 72% of India’s wealth. Shri Sahney exhorted pertinent steps to be taken to reduce this disparity and inequality.
As per World Bank’s report 5.6 Crores people were pushed back in poverty post covid. Shri Sahney mentioned that prices of essential commodities have been increasing and going out of reach for common citizens.
Shri Sahney mentioned that inflation especially food inflation is very high. He gave the example of McDonald taking of tomatoes out of its food items due to unaffordable prices.
Supporting supplementary demand of 649 crores for Higher Education, Shri Sahney reiterated that there is hardly any additional allocation for skill development and allocation for State Skill Development Mission is declining in last two years. He mentioned that allocation for Skill Development to Punjab have been reduced to 92%.
Shri Sahney said that no further funds have been allocated to price stabilization fund. Shri Sahney supporting additional allocation of 7,000 crore demand for Food and Public Distribution demanded that government should invest more in cold chain infrastructure and food processing as 40% of the vegetables and fruits are going waste.
As regards fertilizers, Shri Sahney expressed concern over reduction of 30% pf the fertilizer subsidies in the last quarter and demanded that the same should be reviewed in January to ensure optimum availability of fertilizers to the farmers.
On supplementary demand for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Sahney said that India has only 10 beds per 1,000 population and only 30% are in rural areas. He also demanded the pruning of Ayushman Bharat Scheme to reach maximum beneficiaries.