Modi Government’s Pro-rich and Anti-poor Policies Have Created Rampant Rural Distress: Priyanka Chaturvedi
The Congress spokesperson slammed the BJP government for mocking the NYAY scheme.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, spokesperson of the Congress party on Friday, March 29, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of running an anti-poor government, calling it a ‘Suit-Boot’ political regime. She said that PM Modi and the BJP ministers who are mocking the Congress’ NYAY Scheme for minimum income have quietly squeezed the funds meant for the wages of MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).
Here are some of the important quotes from Chaturvedi’s press conference:
- The government’s pro-rich and anti-poor policies have created rampant and unimaginable rural distress in the past five years.
- Rural labourers have not been given their wage hikes. Under MGNREGA, the Modi government has allegedly given a minimal increase of 2.16 per cent average annual wage hike for 2019-20— which is the lowest ever
- As per the data, MGNREGA labourers in six states and Union Territories will see no annual increase in their daily wages this financial year. The government has allegedly not released any funds for wage hikes for the states of Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal
- NREGA workers in another 15 states will get a daily wage hike as low as Re 1 and Rs 5. Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have been provided with a measly increase of Re 1 and Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have received a hike of Rs 2.
- BJP ruled Jharkhand and Bihar continue to have the lowest MGNREGA wages at Rs 171 a day.
- In a direct assault on rural labourers, the Narendra Modi-led government has outrightly rejected the expert Mahendra Dev panel report that recommended bringing NREGA wages at par with the minimum state agricultural wages and then indexing it to Consumer Protection Price (Rural) for annual revision.
- The Congress also accused the government of junking a second committee under Additional Secretary Nagesh Singh. This panel did not insist on aligning the base MGNREGA wages with minimum wages but ruled that the annual wage revision must be linked to CPI-Rural.
- The government is also negligent towards the farmers. Forty per cent of the country is grappling with drought conditions, of which 16-17 per cent are severe.
- From Gujarat and Maharashtra, through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the dismal South-West and North-East monsoons of 2018 have triggered yet another drought across the country, however, the Modi government has provided no respite to these distressed farmers.
- The average income of an agri-household is just Rs 8,931 per month, based on NABARD’s latest survey
- In addition, it was alleged that Farm Gate prices have fallen at the lowest levels in the past 20 years.
- The tractor sales for a prominent company, which has a 40 per cent plus market share, declined in December 2018, were flat in January this year and dropped in February too. Two-wheeler sales started crawling since December. In February, the two biggest two-wheeler producers, which account for three-fourths of industry volumes, reported lower sales.