Friday, July 25, 2014

BJD pinpricks 'social justice' plank vis-a-vis Growth

They have been trying to be friends often. But Trinamul, Biju Janata Dal differences on economic issues come to the fore in Lok Sabha and that too quite clearly when BJD member virtually pin-pricked Saugata Roy's rhetoric on 'social growth' plank.
While they took the budget debate to a newer heights with key members from both parties waxing  
eloquent on the same they clearly had diametrically opposite views on key issues.

While Mr Saugata Roy articulated TMC's views on growth and social justice, BJD member Jay Panda
lauded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's maiden budget for trying to address the "fiscal deficit".

"I compliment the Finance Minister for starting his Budget with a very bold initiative in committing to the
inherited fiscal deficit, which is the lynchpin of the economic health of this country," Mr Panda, MP from
Kendrapara in Odhisa, said.

Participating in the debate on the Finance Bill, Trinamul member, Saugata Roy earlier said, "We are
not against growth, but we believe in growth with social justice. Pursuing growth alone will lead to
millions of poor people unfed".

Mr Roy, also a former minister in the UPA-2, charged the Modi regime with siding with the corporate.
"I always say that the philosophy of the present government seems to be inclined towards the so-called
growth and inclined towards the corporate which I do not appreciate," he said.

The vocal TMC member alleged that among other lacuna, the budget does not pronounce any step to address black money related issues. He also said that the government has neglected "progressive property tax reforms".
He said BJP member Mr Nishikant Dubey, who also spoke in the debate, almost sounded like a
spokesman of the corporate, a charge, of course was denied by the ruling party MP.

But the BJD member, Mr Panda maintained the government is on the right track while focusing on achieving growth and cautioned that those who support more subsidies and even "higher fiscal deficit" do not understand the adverse impact of such a situation. Almost countering TMC member's 'social justice' argument, Mr Panda said, "people who criticize and say that perhaps more money should have been spent and the fiscal deficit could have been higher. These people do not understand that a higher fiscal deficit leads to many other ills such as devaluation of our currency and higher inflation".

Referring to a famous statement made by legendary socialist leader Biju Patnaik in 1990s, Mr Panda said,
"states should be given fiscal independence" and allowed to augment own resources to meet the expenditures".

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