February 11, 2021 6:37:20 am
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Wednesday argued in the Lok Sabha that even “Communist China” had to bring in capitalism to develop their economy, and she was with “Indian capitalists” who want to use their capital inside India for “betterment”. She said the Budget gives opportunity to anyone who wants to “build India’s economy”.
Even as the opposition attacked the government on its treatment of PSUs, Lekhi said some of them had become a burden on the consolidated fund of India and need to be “redone” to bring new life into them.
This followed Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s strong criticism of the Budget after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech. Tharoor said that opposed to Lal Bahadur Shastri’s “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”, Prime Minister Modi’s Budget was “Na Jawan, Na Kisan.”
Lekhi said there were some people who have a problem with India’s development, who backed “crony capitalists”. “What happened to Haryana’s lands, the farmer of Haryana will make you understand very well. There brother, brother-in-law, nephew all took over the land. We have seen the results. Because some, only some capitalist people were profited. The people who give the slogan of crony capitalism, they have done deeds like this. In crony capitalism, only those capitalists that are known to you, profit only reaches them,” she said.
Lekhi, however, said that even China needed organisations such as Alibaba to further its economy. “If we talk of the China government, then they had to bring capitalists forward, then only did they develop. If you understand their economy, they also had to bring capitalists like Alibaba to run their economy. Even if it was a lie, they had to do it. Jack Ma was made to disappear, that is a different issue but to build their economy they needed capitalists,” she said.
“In situations like this when Indian capitalists want to use their capital inside India for the betterment of India, who do you stand with? I am not here to defend any capitalist. Through law, whoever is standing with India, I am fond of him. Whoever is standing against India, I am against them… The contract for Parliament has gone to Tata, here Infosys has been benefited, Wipro has benefited, here our industrialists make smart bomb, they make drones, they make aircraft . This is a thing of happiness for Indians. What is the problem with this? Because nephew, aunt are not getting the work?”
At one point in her speech in the discussion on the Budget, in a sharp exchange with the opposition, Lekhi said the she did not want to react to “Leftists who have no clue how the economy works”.
“You all keep talking about Nehru, Nehru, Nehru. Now Nehru gave the foundation of PSUs. But what did you do after that? PSUs all became bankrupt. And PSUs, a whole lot of them, were not making profit and became a burden on the consolidated fund of India. How long do you want to do that? … You’ve got to change. You’ve got to introduce more life, you’ve got to build some changes. One of the changes is IPOs,” she said.
Lekhi said to make India self reliant, PSUs need to be “redone”.
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Earlier, Tharoor led the Congress charge against the Budget and said it was a betrayal of health workers with the claim of expanding the healthcare system in the country, and that the government’s claims of 137 per cent increase was misleading. It was in reality a 10.84 per cent reduction in allocation to the health ministry. “Of these claimed allocations, Rs 35,000 crore is a one-time expenditure for Covid vaccinations while another Rs 60,000 crore is for the department of drinking water and sanitation,” he said. Tharoor said the actual allocation for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was Rs 71279 crore, which was around a 10.84 per cent drop.
Tharoor also raised the 6 per cent cut in education in the Budget and said the government had done little to actually help MSMEs fiscally. “Demand won’t increase if people don’t have the money to spend,” he said.
He also said that Defence was not even mentioned in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech. On the announcement of a hundred more Sainik schools, he said those existing were being starved of funds and were struggling to survive.
Rebutting the Minister’s speech quoting Sharad Pawar to support farm law when he was the Agriculture Minister, NCP MP Supriya Sule said that Modi did not read the complete letter, which also sought “guidance” from the states on model APMC. “…the Prime Minister talked about a letter that Sharad Pawar wrote to various chief ministers when he was agriculture minister…the four lines that the PM didn’t read is what I am going to read: I may mention that the ministry of agriculture has circulated a draft model APMC rules to all the states for their guidance and adoption as appropriate. ‘Their guidance’ must be noted; (he further wrote) I wish to draw your personal attention to this matter to considerable importance of the agricultural sector and well being of farmers and request that suitable direction maybe given for the necessary steps without further delay. This is what the original entire letter states,” she said.
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