After Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget, opposition parties slammed the Centre over several proposals, but they are not the only ones. Some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allies and RSS affiliate trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) have also expressed disappointment.
According to reports, BMS is against the central government’s proposal for disinvestment. “The Centre’s aggressive disinvestment proposals like divesting two public sector banks (PSBs) and one general insurance company, bringing LIC IPO, asking NITI Aayog to list out new companies for divestment, the scheme for railway corporatisation, etc., will reduce the charm of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and the benefits of some good proposals in the budget,” said the trade union.
BMS asked the Centre to reconsider its proposal to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector. “The Centre must reconsider its proposal to amend the Insurance Act to enhance FDI in the insurance sector from 49% to 74%. The government must relax on the foreign investments in the infrastructure sector, as it will increase foreign dependence,” BMS added.
The Mazdoor Sangh is also disappointed with the government for not including any of the trade unions’ demands in the Union Budget barring a scheme for tea workers in West Bengal and Assam. “None of our or other trade unions’ demands were included in the Union Budget barring a special scheme for West Bengal and Assam. This was in effect making the consultation process a mockery,” BMS said, adding that there is no income tax relief for the middle class whereas corporate tax was reduced.
Congress-affiliated All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) also expressed unhappiness with the Union Budget, calling it a repetition of what the Centre has announced in the past. “The Budget is the repetition of already announced packages by the Finance Minister in May. The Budget is friendly to Indian and foreign corporations with huge concessions, reduction in tax for them, and increase in cess on common man, burdening them more when there is a crisis for their livelihood,” the trade union said.
Some of BJP’s allies in the National Democratic Alliance also echoed similar sentiments to that of the trade unions. Some allies felt that people belonging to the middle class and lower class would have been happy had the Centre reduced the income tax rate. Many agree that the BJP-led NDA came to power in 2014 with the help of the middle class and lower-class families. Making them unhappy could have adverse effects on the alliance and the BJP in the future.