By YKA Staff:
Editor’s note: Amidst heated debates around ‘nationalism’ and ‘sedition’ at JNU, demands of justice for Rohith Vemula’s death, and violent protests led by Jats for reservation, the Budget session of Parliament commenced on 24th February. With the first day spent on the blame-game and some name-calling, the country is anxious to know what the coming financial year will look like.
The Parliament can be a loud place, and it is easy for the citizen’s voices to drown. #MyBudgetWishlist is Youth Ki Awaaz’s attempt to give these voices a platform. We asked citizens from diverse fields about 3 things they want this year’s budget to focus on and here are the answers they gave:
1. Adequate funds should be earmarked to provide stipends to M.Phil and PhD research scholars, particularly in the Humanities disciplines.
2. More funds should be pushed into development of physical infrastructure in public funded universities.
3. More funds for equipping government hospitals and clinics with the latest medical technologies, which must be updated on a periodical basis.
1. Restore the 30% cut in the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
2. Allot funds not just for the drafting of laws, but for their implementation.
3. Allot funds for the welfare of constables and women working in the unorganised sector.
1. Allot funds for the employment of the marginalised sections of society and education of women. Loans should be easily available for women entrepreneurs.
2. Invest in the welfare of the entire transgender community when it comes to education, employment, housing, and small-scale business support.
3. Allot funds to conduct gender sensitisation and training programmes for police and to handle cases of violence against women and transgenders.
1. Taxing the rich and cancelling all the staggering holidays given. No writing off corporate loan.
2. More spending on social sector. We have outrageously low spending on education, health and there are further cuts under Modi govt.
3. Transparency on the spending in military and nuclear sector. The globally declining and inherently accident-prone nuclear industry is flourishing in India as the govt is providing hidden subsidies.
1. Begin withdrawing from areas where markets work, expanding the space and role of private enterprise there.
2. Increase intervention in areas where markets fail – health, education and rural infrastructure.
3. Use Aadhaar and other modern instruments to ensure better targeting and efficiency in these areas.
1. With public sector banks running up non-performing assets of Rs 1.14 lakh crore, the govt. should publish the list of large corporate defaulters so that citizens know how public funds are being utilised.
2. Stop budget cuts for government schemes targeting development of women, children and other marginalised.
3. Increase budget allocation towards education. Last year, only 4.6% of the total budget was allocated to education.
1. Central social sector laws such as the MGNREGA should be adequately funded so that their legal mandate can be fulfilled without continual tension.
2. All entitlements from laws and programmes should be indexed to inflation so that at least their real value can be retained. For e.g., social security pensions have remained at Rs 200 per month for almost a decade, bringing their value down to shamefully low levels.
3. Our tax to GDP ratio has to be raised to levels that are comparable with BRICS countries, or other countries like India.
1. Increase in budget allocation on health. Right now, India only spends 1.2 percent of its GDP on health, the lowest of the BRIC nations.
2. More money spent on women’s rights and empowerment through the ministry of rural development.
3. There is also a need to concentrate on improving India’s infrastructure. This includes trains, railway lines, and roads.
You too can share your wishlist. Add your expectations from the budget to our comments section below.