New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday asked why there was no mention of the words education and jobs in the Interim Budget speech of Union Minister Piyush Goyal and said the only thing the NDA government knows about jobs is ‘Pakodanomics’.
He said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has “cheated the children and youth” of the country and the people would not be “easily fooled” by ‘jumlas’.
“Two words were missing in this Budget speech – education and jobs. In the 10-point vision document there is nothing about education. Apparently, no one in this government has read the ASER report. Also, there is nothing about jobs because if they say anything about jobs, the young people of this country will dismiss it as ‘Pakodanomics’. The only thing this government know about jobs is ‘Pakodanomics’,” Chidambaram told media here.
According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018 report, released earlier this month, while there have been small improvements, the crisis in Indian education, in terms of outcomes, continues.
Chidambaram continued: “The government does not have a word about what it intends to do about reforming the education sector — both quantitative expansion of education and the qualitative expansion of education. Their (NDA) government has cheated the children of this country and the youth of this country. The people of India know what they want and know what they will do. This government thinks that you can fool all the people all the time. They failed in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (assembly polls). The people in the remaining states of India have watched very carefully what happened in these three states and they will not be easily fooled by these ‘jumlas’,” he added.
The senior Congress leader said that the overall impression one got from listening to the Budget speech was that the “government believed its own fake statistics…”
“None of the numbers put out by the government is true. But the government is so blinded by the dazzle of its fake numbers that it is not able to see that the thousands of toilets that were constructed are unused or unusable, there are thousands of villages and millions of homes that do not get electricity… No one believes this government’s claims anymore and I too shall dismiss all claims as irrelevant,” he said.
“The direct tax concessions were beyond the authority of the government that will lay down office in 100 days. They seem to have been added at the last hour after the budget numbers were finalized,” he added.
Chidambaram also criticised Goyal for giving his Budget speech in both Hindi and English.
“While I am a strong supporter of the use of Hindi and English as official languages, no one intended that the two languages should be used alternately or simultaneously. Those who only know Hindi didn’t understand the other half of the budget speech and vice versa. Perhaps that was the real intention of the government – Leave the people confused at least for a day. The mist that wraps this budget will lift by tomorrow and the people will see the desperation and recklessness of the government.”
“Pradhan Mantri KIsan SAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)” – a new scheme for 12 crore small and marginal farmers with direct income support, a pension initiative for 10 crore unorganized sector workers, exempting income up to Rs 5 lakhs from Income Tax, reforms in stamp duty, budgetary allocation of Rs 3 lakh crore for Defence and record allocation of funds at Rs 58,166 crore for North Eastern Areas were some of the highlights of the Budget presented by Goyal.