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In Pre-Budget Moves too Modi Govt Trudges the Old Path

  • June 21, 2024
  • 3 min read
In Pre-Budget Moves too Modi Govt Trudges the Old Path

Right from day one of the third term of the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, the effort from the Prime Minister as well as his close associates in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been to make it appear that nothing has changed in this government from the past two tenures of the Modi regime. The pre-Budget discussions that the union Finance Ministry has initiated are also following the same path.

The usual practice of the ministry is to invite all major stakeholders across diverse economic sectors for meetings with the Union Finance Minister (FM) as well as other senior functionaries of the ministry. These meetings are perceived to be an important part of the preparatory process for the Budget.

Nirmala Seetharaman in Parliament

Political analysts across the country have pointed out to the agrarian crisis and the sustained farmers agitation as major reasons for the BJP losing its overwhelming dominance in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The year-long agitation in 2020-21 against the now repealed three controversial farm laws of the Modi 2.0 government was led by the farmers’ collective, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM). The collective has emerged as an important stakeholder in the agrarian sector of the country since the agitation.

However, representatives of the SKM have not been invited for the pre-Budget discussions on agriculture sector, which is being held on June 21. The All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), one of the important organisational components of the SKM took note of the omission as follows. “It has come to our notice that the Finance Minister will personally hold pre-budget consultations with various stakeholders to consider and take suggestions on the Union Budget, 2024-25 and in this process a meeting has been scheduled with farmer unions and agricultural economists on June 21, 2024. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha has been giving memorandums to the government on agricultural issues along with proposals to resolve the deepening agrarian crisis.Yet, it has been kept out of the crucial talks.”

The statement added that the largest organisation of farmers, SKM has always been called to place proposals before the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices to fix Minimum Support Prices on Rabi and Kharif seasons, adding “however, in this case, the BJP-led NDA government and the finance minister have not invited the SKM leadership or the representatives of the Kisan Sabha for the meeting.”

Flaying the government, AIKS said: “Such an approach of the government makes it clear that the government is deliberately keeping the genuine representatives of the farmers out of the discussion and is indulging in a ridiculous exercise which has no bearing on the genuine representatives of the farmers.”

The AIKS reminded the government that the time has now come for the government to give up its arrogance and learn a lesson from the decisive defeat in the 159 farmer dominated constituencies in the recently concluded elections. It also added that failure to address these issues would lead to yet another mass mobilisation of farmers across the country, which the Modi 3.0 regime would find it difficult to handle.

Council of Ministers under Narendra Modi’s third term as Prime Minister

There are indications that some of the allies of the BJP in the NDA have taken note of the omission of the SKM in the talks and are planning to take it up with the FM. What concrete form it would take is to be seen.

About Author

Apurva Roy Chatterjee

Apurva Roy Chatterjee is a researcher and freelance writer based in Delhi.

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Subrat Pal
Subrat Pal
21 days ago

Seems Modi and BJP have not learnt any lessons from reverses. Looks like the they are waiting for a thorough electoral drubbing to mend their ways.

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