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Happy that budget has taken our concerns into account: RSS affiliates

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Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh call this budget as the first that truly addresses the concerns of ‘70 per cent of India’s population’.

New Delhi: With the government loosening the purse strings for the social sector, agriculture, health and job generation — the areas red-flagged by RSS affiliated organisations — the latter hailed the Modi government’s last full budget as “a new beginning” and a step in the “right direction”.

While Swadeshi Jagran Manch, RSS’ economic wing, termed it a ‘good start”, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh called this budget as the first that truly addresses the concerns of “70 per cent of the Indian population”.

“It is good to see that the government is finally moving in the right direction, towards creating new employment opportunity,” Ashwani Mahajan, national co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch told ThePrint.

“The greater focus on non-farm sector as well as increasing government contribution to EPF to 12 per cent — we had advised 25 per cent — is a positive move. We are glad that at least a start has been made,” he added.

Mahajan also praised the BJP for increasing the minimum support price (MSP) for crops, another suggestion by SJM.

While welcoming the government’s announcement of a mega health insurance scheme, Mahajan cautioned that efforts must be made to involve government-run insurance companies over private ones to ensure the scheme’s success.

“For the first time, the government has brought a budget that addresses the concerns of 70 per cent of India’s population. The decision to increase MSP is a good one,” said Mohini Mohan Mishra, national secretary of BKS. “Overall this budget has taken our concerns into account.”

Mishra is of the view that the Centre can also do better on irrigation for which budgetary allocation needs to be increased.

SJM has influenced government’s decisions on a range of issues from GM crops to HPV vaccines. Both SJM and BKS are seen as pressure groups for the Modi government.

The BKS had submitted a series of recommendations to the finance ministry. It had highlighted the need to ‘rationalise’ MSP over and above the investment cost, ensure mandatory buying of surplus crop and ramp up irrigation infrastructure.

SJM had recommended a ‘course correction’ in the government’s approach, calling for greater focus on job generation, farmer distress and the need to incentivise smaller and new sectors over big corporates.

BKS had specifically drawn the BJP government’s attention to the need to raise the MSP.

The groups have advised the BJP government to increase funding, better “fiscal targeting” and enhanced focus on the social sector in view of the overall effect of GST on the economy, ThePrint had reported last week.

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