Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 23 (PTI) Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan on Monday expressed hope that the Central government would increase the allocation for the rural job scheme, MGNREGA, in the upcoming Union Budget as it is key to stimulating the country's economy.
Accusing the BJP-led government of not taking steps to address the issue of price rise, Satheesan said the common people were struggling to make ends meet.
"The price hike is too much...especially in the oil and gas sector. The common people are struggling to meet their two ends. So, we expect some announcement including some Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes (to ease their burden)", he told PTI here.
He said MGNREGA is an indirect DBT scheme, which is being neglected by the BJP government.
"For the last two, three years... they (the Centre) are trying to decrease the amount allotted for the MGNREGA scheme. It is an indirect Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme. People want more money at this time of recession. They have to spend more money. That will stimulate the economy of the state as well as the country," said Satheesan, who is also a senior leader of the Congress in Kerala.
Urging the Centre to address the loopholes in the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST), he said Kerala's income has come down due to its flawed implementation.
He said since Kerala is a consumer state, there should have been an increase in the tax collection. "But it is not happening. We are losing huge amount from the tax collection. There are some loopholes in the GST system. The Centre should correct it. And it has to be implemented properly," the opposition leader said.
He said the unemployment rate in the country is shooting up and there should be some schemes in the Union Budget to create more jobs for the youth.
"The Union government is claiming that our economy is growing. But unfortunately, economy may be growing but this growth is jobless growth. Unemployment rate in the country is shooting up. We expect inclusive growth and there has to be schemes to create more employment," Satheesan said.
The Congress leader also expressed hope that there would be some provisions for helping Kerala's economy in the Union Budget.
Noting that the MPs from Kerala and the state government have submitted many projects to the Centre, Satheesan said: "We expect that the railway infrastructure would be developed to introduce Vande Bharat trains in the state." "I hope that there will be allocations for the railway, road infrastructure developments and for setting up an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Kerala (in the budget)," he said.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would present the Narendra Modi government's budget for the next financial year in Parliament on February 1. PTI TGB HDA HDA