New Delhi, February 1, 2021. Responding to the budget 2021, Muslim Students Organization of India (MSO), the largest organization of Indian Muslim students, said that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced an agricultural cess of Rs 2.50 on petrol and Rs 4 on diesel. This is salt on the wounds of the people who have been crushed by inflation. Instead of giving any relief to the agitating farmers, Rs 4 has been increased on diesel which is the culmination of shamelessness. The budget for education has also been reduced by Rs 6,000 Crore as compared to last year, while NEP had a provision to spend 6 per cent of GDP on education.
Dr. Shujaat Ali Quadri, National President, MSO, said that no effort has been made in the first budget of the Modi government after the COVID epidemic to mend the dangerously declining economy nor has it provided any immediate relief for those who have lost their jobs and are suffering from a sharp decline in their income and standard of living. On the contrary, it has put the burden of a troubled economy on the shoulders of the public and created more opportunities for big corporate to accumulate immense wealth.
Quadri said that Nirmala Sitharaman has shown contempt for the minorities. In today’s budget, the amount of the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been reduced. Last year’s budget for 2020-21 was Rs 5,029 crore while this year only Rs 4,810.77 crore has been proposed for 2021-22. 218.23 Crore has been reduced as compared to last year.
Quadri has termed it a very disappointing budget from the point of view of minorities. Giving details by sector, he said that schemes related to education sector like 67 crore in Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, 75 crore in Merit Cum Means Scholarship Scheme, 76 crore in Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme, 6 crore in Interest Subsidy Scheme of Education Loan, 2 crore has been reduced in the preparation plan for competitive examination. In this way 149 crore has been reduced in the field of education. While in Waqf development plan 5 crore has been reduced.
Quadri said that the main emphasis of this government is on skill development, reduction of 33 crore in ‘Nai Manzil’ scheme, reduction of 13 crore in Ustad scheme, reduction of 2 crore in women leadership training, 7 Crore in the share of Minority Finance and Development Corporation has been reduced.
Under the special program for minorities, a reduction of Rs. 9 Crore in research and a reduction of Rs. 1 Crore in our heritage program. He said that the secretariat item for linguistic minorities has also been reduced by Rs 33 Lakh. 210 crore has been reduced in the Prime Minister’s Public Development Program.
Quadri said that the government is discriminating against the minority community. The government does not want the minority community of India to move on the path of development. We demand that at least 10% of the central budget should be allocated according to the population as a special provision to uplift the backward society.
Quadri said there is an urgent need to increase government investment and spending in the economy but this budget is focused on disinvestment and privatization at wholesale prices. He said that the assets of India’s 100 richest billionaires increased tremendously during the epidemic and lockdown (about 13 lakh crore)! But the budget is leaving this property as it is, why wealth tax or transaction tax could not be levied on it? Instead of increasing revenue collection from the super-rich by reforming the revenue policy and giving relief to the middle class in GST and income tax, the budget is running on a highly wealthy revenue policy as before.
He said in response to the budget that the government has once again rejected the long-standing demand of farmers for a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all crops. India’s small farmers and people under the debt of microfinance companies are troubled. Demands for debt forgiveness of small borrowers are constantly rising across the country, but Budget 2021 has not considered this as an important demand.
Qadri said that this budget has completely failed to revive the economy. Therefore, we demand from the government that this budget be reconsidered in full detail.