Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Bharatiya Kisan Sangh write to Finance Ministry, suggesting measures to combat unemployment and farmer distress.
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government must urgently address the problems of rising unemployment and farmer distress in the country – that is the advice from two key RSS affiliates ahead of the budget next week.
The RSS’s economic wing, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), has recommended a ‘course correction’ to incentivise smaller and new sectors that have greater potential of generating jobs.
The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) has drawn the BJP government’s attention to the need to raise minimum support prices (MSP), compensation for GST on agricultural produce that is used as raw material, and easing procedures for small enterprises to help unemployed rural youth find opportunities to earn a livelihood.
The groups have advised the BJP government to loosen the purse strings for better “fiscal targeting” and enhanced focus on the social sector in view of the overall effect of GST on the economy, ThePrint has learnt.
Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convenor of the SJM, said unemployment is a serious concern and “more efforts are needed for employment generation” even though the NDA government had taken some steps in this direction.
“For very long now and across governments, there are always tax rebates, concessions, incentives and subsidies to corporate and big investments. We have suggested that it is time for some course correction, incentives for other sectors which generate more jobs, like small scale industries,” Mahajan said.
“From a GDP growth-centric model, we need to shift to an employment generation model with greater incentives for sunrise sectors, areas which will develop futuristic skills for the youth.”
In view of GST implementation and its impact, the government needs to show “more flexibility” and find more resources for capital investment, especially in rural, education, health and employment generation areas, the SJM feels.
SJM, which has influenced government decisions on a range of issues from GM crops to HPV vaccines, also says the government needs to find funding mechanisms to revive indigenous industry, which it says has been hit by dumping of goods.
Yoga and Ayurveda have specifically been identified by the SJM as sectors that need greater government funding and attention, as they can serve a twin purpose – generating more new employment, and providing “cheaper health care”.
For the farmer
The BKS has specifically highlighted the need to ‘rationalise’ MSP over and above investment cost, ensure mandatory buying of surplus crop, and ramping up irrigation infrastructure, as the Rs 80 crore allocation announced by the PM is ‘insufficient’.
In a communication to the finance ministry earlier this month, it has pointed out the need to facilitate and ease processes for zero technology-based small scale enterprises, to help unemployed rural youth move to self-employment avenues.
That apart, BKS has called for a special budgetary allocation for allowing small farmers to create and expand storage facilities in or around their homes to minimise costs incurred in moving surplus crop to cold storage facilities. The organisation has also opined that Centre-state fund sharing formula for central schemes should be shifted from the current 60:40 ratio to 80:20 or 90:10, as states are not contributing enough.
It has also requested greater focus on gene improvement of the indigenous cow species through greater budgetary allocation.