Budget doesn't address issues like unemployment, health, education: AITUC

AITUC said trade unions have been demanding restoration of old pension scheme and fixing minimum wages for the unorganised sector workers.

Union Budget 2023-24 (source: shutterstock)Union Budget 2023-24 (source: shutterstock)

Press Trust of India | February 1, 2023 | 06:25 PM IST

NEW DELHI: All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has expressed dissatisfaction over the Union Budget 2023-24, saying it does not address crucial issues like unemployment, health and education, among others. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget in Parliament. "The Budget is woefully hollow without addressing the crucial issues of unemployment, health, education, price rise etc. Education Budget 2023 Live Updates

Except that there are some handouts with an intention to woo the electorate, there is nothing aimed at moving towards a people centric economic growth and human development. The speech was laced with falsehood and jugglery," AITUC said in a statement. None of the real issues concerning people have been addressed, the union said.

AITUC said trade unions have been demanding restoration of old pension scheme and fixing minimum wages for the unorganised sector workers including agricultural workers. Spending on education is inadequate. Rate of mean school education in India has fallen drastically. The budget speaks on spending on higher education. It has made a blueprint already to bring foreign universities.

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This spending seems to match with that plan to support higher education, it said. Further, the union said that there is no spending announced in the budget for health, except a specific programme on eradication of sickle cell anemia by 2047. Reduced public spending on health has made poverty accentuate in India.

Also, spending on agriculture is reduced to the extent of paying doles to farmers, it said, adding that reduced allocation in MGNREGA, which is a demand based work, will deprive nearly 7 crore job seekers under the scheme. "Middle class is wooed with tax exemption up to Rs 7 lakh. This is a small section of the formal salaried workforce. This again is a measure to attract a vote bank," it said.

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The announcements made with respect to the MSMEs are too small for the huge sector, which is the engine of growth and employment generator. The government has made "no attempt to increase tax income by taxing the rich and corporates... It does not address the crucial issues of hunger, poverty and unemployment," AITUC said.

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