NDA slashed social sector spending by over Rs 1.75 cr: Congress

Bhubaneswar: Dubbing the BJP-led NDA rule at the Centre as anti-poor and regressive, the Congress today accused it of demolishing inclusive and equitable development and slashing social sector spending by a whopping Rs 1,75,122 crore as it was keen to please capitalists in a year.

“Narendra Modi government, which is set to complete one year, is demolishing the edifice of inclusive and equitable development in its quest to appease a few crony capitalists and trading partners,” senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Jitendra Singh told reporters here.

Claiming that the Modi government has slashed social sector spending by Rs 1,75,122 crore in one year alone, Singh said while there was Rs 66,222 crore cut in grants on social sector scheme, Rs 5,900 crore was cut by closing down the Backward Regions Grant Fund.

Similarly, Rs 1,03,000 crore cut was effected by not implementing the Food Security Programme aimed at 67 per cent of the country’s population, he claimed.

“Shockingly, these cuts have been unabatedly applied to areas which are an integral DNA of India’s intrinsic fabric such as women and child development, agriculture, irrigation, panchayati raj, education, health, housing, welfare of SCs and STs and others,” the Congress leader said.

Though Swacchh Bharat Abhiyaan was launched with great fanfare on October 2, 2014, the Modi government has reduced allocated funds for the mission (including drinking water and sanitation) by Rs 9,025 crore, he claimed, adding the Congress has called upon the people to unite and oppose a “regressive, retrograde and anti-poor Modi government.”

Stating that agriculture and irrigation, which contribute 17 per cent of the GDP and engage 49 per cent of the workforce, was worst hit by “Modinomics of crony capitalists,” Singh said the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana has seen a reduction in funds to the tune of Rs 7,426.50 crore.

Animal Husbandry and Dairy Vikas has seen a cut in funds to the extent of Rs 685 crore, while the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna has seen a reduction of around Rs 8,156.22 crore, he said, adding funds for the National Livelihood Mission have been reduced by Rs 1,632.50 crore.

“Not surprisingly, agriculture growth has gone down from 4.7 per cent in 2013-14 to 1.1 per cent in 2014-15 under the BJP government. Area under cultivation has gone down by 33.22 lakh hectares in 2014-15,” he said.

Accusing the Modi government of being insensitive towards welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Singh said funds for SC sub plan have been reduced by Rs 13,208 crore and tribal sub plan was cut by Rs 7,714 crore.

Describing the Panchayati Raj and its institutions as the last mile connectivity of the nation’s democracy, the Congress leader said budget of PR institutions has been reduced by Rs 3,306 crore – by about 98.6 per cent as allocation for PR institutions was now only Rs 94.75 crore.

Charging the NDA government with systematically killing the MGNREGA by not releasing funds to the States, he said the Centre has not released over Rs 6,000 crore to States in 2014-15.