Breathless Raghav Chadha fires 10 shots in Rajya Sabha

Young parliamentarian corners the government on high inflation, rising unemployment, and the tax burden

NEW DELHI | Updated: 19 December, 2022 11:20 pm IST

Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Leader and Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Raghav Chadha hits out at the central government over its demand for Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2022-2023 in the Parliament.

Chadha said that he wishes that this facility was also available for the common man of the country, who is reeling under incessantly rising inflation, especially at the end of the month.

Concluding his address in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Chadha asked, “Does the Finance minister know the rate of 1 kg flour and 1 litre of milk? Secondly, why did the BJP’s mega-budget of 2022 fail to provide employment? Thirdly, why are the goods produced in India so expensive and out of the common man’s budget? Fourth, despite concessions to the corporate sector, why is an investment not coming in the private sector?”

“Fifth, how many jobs were created by the capitalists’ debt waivers and tax reductions? Sixth, why the sharp decline and failure of the new economy, i.e., the startup economy? Seventh, how much will it take for the rupee to regain its value? Is the government waiting for hundreds of rupees against the dollar?” he continued.

“Eighth, why the decline in exports? Ninth, what is the meaning of inflation being higher than the growth rate? Inform the house and people of the country that when will the tax burden from the common man come down?” Chadha fired.

Starting his address at the House, Chadha suggested that there could be only two reasons for demanding extra money from the proposed budget.

“First, at the beginning of the first financial year, the government presented its budget by estimating less than what it wanted to achieve, in an attempt to mislead the public by beautifying the fiscal deficit. Or the second reason could be that the government has completely failed to manage its budget,” he said.

Chadha said that the discussion on the budget should be held twice. “One is when the budget is presented, and the other is during the winter session, 7-8 months after the budget is presented to the House,” he explained.

“The people of the country can know what the country has achieved by spending the budget presented. How many jobs did you get? What is the unemployment rate? What is the inflation rate?” he added.

The MP from Punjab also said that the government has come to the House to demand ₹3,25,757 crore. “But before that, the attention of the House and the Finance Minister was drawn to the 8 major economic problems, which he said are the eight diseases from which India’s economy is suffering today,” he said.

Chadha stressed that the biggest problem facing the country’s economy is unemployment, which is the highest in the last 45 years. He said that the BJP government had promised to provide two crore jobs every year, but jobs were not given. “The central government has definitely broken all records in the unemployment rate,” he said.

Taking another swipe at the central government over inflation, he said that today the country is not in need of an ‘Aadhaar card’ but it needs a ‘Udaar card’. He said that the country is struggling with the incessantly rising inflation that the government imposes on the people without bringing a law.

Chadha said that debt is the next big problem because India took a loan of ₹55 lakh crore in 66 years from 1947-2014, but the BJP government took a loan of ₹85 lakh crore in eight years from 2014-2022. “They don’t even distribute ‘free rewari’, then where is all this money going?” he asked.

Raising the issue of farmers, the AAP MP said, “It is like a disease for our economy that the loans of capitalists are being waived off, while in the last eight years, the debt burden on farmers has increased by 53 per cent.”

“The corporate tax has been reduced from 30 to 22 per cent, which is also causing a loss of ₹1.5 lakh crore to the government every year. Secondly, the central government has waived the debt of ₹10 lakh crore to capitalists in the last five years. The government had argued that this would increase employment, reduce inflation, but every fact is telling that what happened is the exact opposite,” Chadha pointed out.

Expressing concern over the continuously falling value of the rupee, Chadha said that earlier the big leaders of the BJP used to say that the country’s reputation fell due to the fall of the rupee, but now the reputation, prestige, and rupee have all come down to the same low level. “What is surprising is that despite the fall in the rupee, exports are also falling, which is not usually the case,” he said.

In its demand for an additional budget to complete the grants, the central government has asked for ₹30 crore land for the new office of the ED, etc. “This is the BJP’s most utilised department as they had lodged many opposition leaders and ministers, therefore, why should the government keep a budget of only ₹30 crores when it should be ₹30 lakh crores? ED police stations should be opened in every street mohalla,” Chadha added sarcastically.

After this, Chadha dared the central government and union finance minister to answer ten questions related to the economy.

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