DELHI: 12 July 2014

The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has described the 2014 Union Budget as pro-corporate. It is lacklustre, anti-poor and would benefit only the rich. It is nothing more than an exercise in fraudulent symbolism and high on rhetoric and low on substance, the party said.

SDPI national president A. Sayeed in a statement said that the budget has nothing which can reduce inflation, bridge the economic disparity and remove poverty. It has done a lot for the Corporate.

Sayeed said the expectations from Prime Minister Narendra Modi were so high that the budget has failed to generate the kind of euphoria usually associated with anything bearing his stamp. He pointed out that the latest budget and the Economic Survey that preceded it are also silent on the issue of introduction of Economic Disparity Index (General, Urban-Rural, State to State and Community to Community) so that we can know the status of different regions and communities and how the government proposes to bridge them.

He said that it is surprising that on market products the government does nothing to reduce the margins of the profits the companies make at the cost of the common people. However, when it comes to agricultural products, hoarding and profiteering remain big concerns for the government.

Sayeed stated that the NDA Budget is not different from UPA II when it comes to polluting vehicles. In Budget 2013, the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had increased the tax on SUVs saying that they were inefficient and polluting. But in February, he took away the tax. The 2014 Budget also believes that it must help cars that are large, inefficient and dirty.

He lamented that minorities in general and Muslims in particular have been left out in the lurch as there is nothing in this budget to cheer about. Only an additional amount of Rs.100 crores for Modernization of Madarsaas have been provided to the Department of School Education in the budget under the Ministry of Human Resource Development instead of Ministry of Minority Affairs. This Modernization of Madarsaas is fraught with danger as it will clearly work for devastating the attention of students studying in Madarsa from Islamic education to modern education, he moaned.

The statement said that Muslims will feel concerned about this allocation of Rs.100 because it gives an idea of how BJP government wants to impose its agenda on Muslims and their institutions. There are no announcements for any minority institutions or any programmes related to developmental activities in Muslim areas.