आप एम्प्लॉयमेंट क्रिएट कीजिए। एग्रीकल्चर सेक्टर से जुड़े हुए लोगों को आप प्राथमिकता दें। किसान जो पैदा कर रहा है, उस पर उसकी जो लागत आती है, उस लागत से भी कम मूल्य उसे मिल पा रहा है। आप उसे उसका लाभकारी मूल्य दिलवाने की कोशिश करें। यह जो ‘फूड सिक्योरिटी बिल’ आ रहा है, जिसका ऑर्डिनेंस आ चुका है, इसे लेकर बड़े पैमाने पर लोगों के मन में सन्देह है। मैं माननीय वित्त मंत्री जी से अनुरोध करना चाहूंगा कि वे इन बातों को ध्यान में रखें। लोगों के मन में यह आशंका है कि इसकी वजह से बहुत बड़े पैमाने पर पिल्फ्रेज होगा। बाजार में सस्ता अनाज चला जाएगा, तो किसान की जो पैदावार है, उसे उसका सही दाम नहीं मिल पाएगा। इससे एग्रीकल्चर पर एडवर्स इफेक्ट पड़गा। एक तो ‘मनरेगा’ की वजह से एडवर्स इफेक्ट पड़ रहा है, फिर इसकी वजह से भी पड़ने लगेगा। अगर एग्रीकल्चर पर बुरा असर पड़ा, तो अन्ततोगत्वा देश की अर्थव्यवस्था पर इसका बहुत बुरा असर पड़ेगा, इसलिए माननीय वित्त मंत्री जी, आप खेती की तरफ ध्यान दें।
आप बहुत बड़े-बड़े लोगों की तरफ तो ध्यान देते ही हैं, लेकिन जिन लोगों ने देश को बचाया हुआ है, उनको बचाने की कोशिश कीजिए, वरना यह महंगाई, यह बेरोजगारी और यह भ्रष्टाचार काबू से बाहर होते चले जाएंगे। हालांकि भ्रष्टाचार पर मैं कुछ बोलना नहीं चाहूंगा, क्योंकि भ्रष्टाचार तो अब सदाचार हो गया है, इसलिए उस पर मैं कुछ नहीं कहूंगा। समय भी अधिक हो गया है। आपने मुझे बोलने के लिए समय दिया, इसके लिए बहुत-बहुत धन्यवाद।
(2Y/PSV-HK पर आगे)
RESOLUTION REJECTING AND DEPLORING RESOLUTIONS PASSED BY NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PAKISTAN ON AUGUST 13, 2013 AND OF PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY OF PUNJAB MR. CHAIRMAN: Hon. Members, I move the following Resolution:-
"This House rejects and deplores the Resolutions passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on August 13, 2013 and of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab which make absolutely baseless and unfounded allegations against the Indian Army and the people of India.
There should be absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind, including Members of the Pakistan National Assembly, that it was the Pakistan Army that was involved in the unprovoked attack on an Indian Army Patrol on our side of the LoC on August 6, 2013.
It is unfortunate that Pakistan chose to indulge in such unprovoked attacks at a time when efforts were being made to establish a long-lasting framework of peaceful, friendly and cooperative ties so that both countries may henceforth devote their resources and energies to the pressing task of advancing the welfare of their people.
India is not a threat to Pakistan or the people of Pakistan. It is the terrorist groups that have been nurtured by Pakistan to target India and have become the biggest threat to peace in the region.
This House also strongly condemns the action of the Pakistan Army and reiterates once again that the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir, including the territory forcibly and illegally occupied by Pakistan, is an integral part of India and will always remain so. India upholds the sanctity of the Line of Control and calls upon the Government of Pakistan to abide by the ceasefire commitment of 2003 along the international border and Line of Control both in letter and spirit.
This House pays tribute to the courage and valour of the Indian Armed Force personnel who laid down their lives while upholding the sanctity of the Line of Control. Our restraint should not be taken for granted, nor should the capacity of our Armed Forces to ensure the territorial integrity of our nation."
May I take hon. Members that this Resolution is adopted unanimously?
The question was put and the Motion was adopted.
MR. CHAIRMAN: The Resolution is adopted unanimously. We shall now continue with the discussion.
SHORT DURATION DISCUSSION ON
ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY (Contd.) (THE VICE-CHAIRMAN, SHRI BHUBANESWAR KALITA, in the Chair) SHRI N.K. SINGH (BIHAR):Sir, thank you, very much. It is a privilege to me to participate in this important debate which deals with the state of the economy. First and foremost, Finance Minister, I must say, you are not presiding over a bed of roses. Who sowed the thorns, I will not go into that issue. But really we are in a business cycle which has its own constraints -- which has its own constraints on the exogenous variable. But all is not gloom and doom. The fact remains that India's growth rate of an average of 7.6 per cent over the last decade has been an admirable performance. The fact remains, Sir, that with sustained efforts current account deficit in the quarter which ended April 13 is a significant reduction on the current account deficit which was experienced in the comparable period. The fact remains that in spite of all allowances given to External Commercial Borrowing, short-term debt has remained in control, debt as a percentage to GDP has remained in control and fiscal consolidation programme has remained on track.
(Contd. by 2z/KSK)
hk/psv -- KSK/VNK/3.25/2Z
SHRI N.K. SINGH (CONTD.): FDI is down but FDI is, more or less, comparable to what it was in 2010-11. So, I think in trying to view the economy, we must view it in the larger context and we must not belittle the very important achievements which, I think, as a concerted effort, we have all achieved during the last ten years or so.
Having said this, Sir, on a prescriptive point, I have six suggestions to make for the Finance Minister’s consideration. The first and foremost point is that I entirely agree with Ravi Shankarji and others that the crucial thing is the restoration of investor confidence. That, I think, is the central message which we need to give. And, this time, Sir, I will not make a mistake of wrongly quoting John Maynard Keynes to be corrected by the hon. Prime Minister because this is what John Maynard Keynes had said on investment, and John Maynard Keynes had said that investment is more an act of faith than a scientific calculation of probabilities. The important thing really is: how do we entice and incentivise investment as an act of faith. The fact remains that wherever I have travelled, Ravi Shankarji has travelled, the Leader of the Opposition has travelled and the Finance Minister has travelled, the one important question, which investors have repeatedly asked me is, “Why have you stalled all important legislations? Mr. Singh, you are an important Member of Indian Parliament, but you people don’t function. You people do not enact legislation.” People have told me that the crucial legislations on insurance, on pension, on GST, on important changes in the financial sector, on changes which were introduced by us when we were in office, some important legislations on coal, on banking changes, some suggestions which were introduced during NDA Government even on labour, all these remain stalled. I think that the fact remains and the Finance Minister will agree that important reforms of 1991 had an important bipartisan support. The fact remains that important reforms during the NDA Government had a degree of bipartisan support. So, how to really make institutions, which are designed to function, function in a manner which is appropriate is central for the restoration of investor confidence. And, I agree with the Finance Minister that he cannot do this alone. This requires the bipartisan support of all segments of Parliament to be able to take up this very important stalled process.
Second, Sir, I wish to request the Finance Minister that whereas he has done a lot for drawing a Lakshmanrekha on the Current Account Deficit, given his commitment on sticking to and adhering to the path of fiscal rectitude, the fact remains that in an important legislation which is pending before us, namely, the Food Security Bill, the issues of adherence to the fiscal rectitude will be in question. I request him and urge him that the path of fiscal rectitude must not be abandoned. Macro-economic stabilisation programme cannot be abandoned. And for this, if he has to rationalise the subsidy, compress his expenditure and take other measures so that monetary policy and fiscal policy can act in tandem, I urge him to do so. A disproportionate burden of a macro-economic stabilisation programme has remained with the Mint Street in Bombay. We need to make monetary policy act in tandem with fiscal policy to ensure macro-economic stabilisation.
My third important request to the hon. Finance Minister is that we need to do the short-term and the long-term. In the short term, he knows, as well as all of us do, that stabilising the currency is an exceedingly important thing. We need to, therefore, shrink the supply of rupees, enhance the supply side on dollars and to banish the exchange rate in a manner which was preventing excessive volatility, and an excessive dependence on reserves is able to stabilise the currency. I urge him to consider many innovative measures for incentivising flows by, perhaps, an Incredible India bond of hundred thousand crores to finance India’s important infrastructure, to look for arrangements in which we can have soft arrangements with other countries which have abundant foreign exchange reserves and who may want to do this in a friendly kind of way. All steps must be taken to stabilise the currency which, I believe, must be a short-term goal which you cannot abandon. In this process, it is possible that difficult choices between growth versus inflation, between short-term volatility and growth may arise. I do not urge him to seek the path of raising interest rates which would completely cramp the growth, although this would be the function primarily of the Reserve Bank of India.
(Contd. by 3A – GSP)
SHRI N.K. SINGH (CONTD.): I think, the Reserve Bank of India has a function which goes beyond mere inflation stability and which goes beyond the foreign exchange management. Growth, Sir, must be a centerpiece of any economic strategy in the medium term even though in the short term, currency stabilization has to be an important feature.
Mr. Finance Minister, you can consider the concept which was debated in the other House sometime ago on setting up a bi-partisan Growth Commission. The Leader of the Opposition in the other House suggested that she was willing to accompany a Government delegation to assure foreign investors that we are one and speak in one voice when it comes to incentivizing foreign investment. You could consider, like many countries have considered, a bi-partisan Growth Commission and this would, Sir, buttress investor confidence in a significant way.
Finally, I would say that perhaps no person is better equipped, knows it better than the Finance Minister on what needs to be done to get the India story back on track. I agree that we are not like 1991. We have many strengths as compared to the 1991 situation. Sir, equally, there are many more vulnerabilities. India is far more integrated with the global economy that it was in 1991. As a raw figure, Sir, trade as a percentage of GDP which was just 10-11 per cent in 1991, is now 44 per cent. We are far more vulnerable today than we were in 1991. We have, of course, got strength but the strength poses new challenges, and, therefore, Sir, I do believe that the Finance Minister might like to consider that, without going to the IMF, formally or informally, history has a terrible knack of a vicious cycle. I think, we need to adopt programme and policies which will prevent the recurrence of features, and, which will prevent really the full cycle of what this country experienced between 1991 and 1993. (Time-bell) This, Sir, is not something which can be left merely perhaps to the great ingenuity and innovation of Government itself. It requires national efforts. It requires bi-partisan support and I do believe that we would be performing our national duty to extend that support for enacting reforms, legislation and programmes, which would enable the economy to get back to the high noon of economic growth, which India has experienced for several years. Thank you very much, Sir.
THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (SHRI BHUBANESWAR KALITA):Thank you. Next speaker is Shrimati Vasanthi Stanley.
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY (TAMIL NADU): Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to register my views on this important issue. Dear Finance Minister, Sir, we do respect you as a great leader of Tamil Nadu, next to our elder brother, late Murasoli Maran, who flew the Indian flag high in the Doha Conference while fighting for the rights of the developing countries. Sir, you command a great respect and love from our dear leader also.
Sir, during 2008-09, when the whole world was trailing due to the recession, because of the fiscal measures taken by you, India was able to not only survive but also register a very good and healthy growth rate of the GDP. While global factors are challenging Indian economy now, with your new fiscal consolidation, India is able to contain fiscal deficit at 4.9 per cent of GDP by effecting aggressive expenditure cuts. But there are certain factors which do give us some concern like, inflation, high levels of debt, poor infrastructure, poor educational standards, Budget deficit etc.
These things do give us some concern about our Indian economy. In this regard, I would, very shortly, tell you about the domestic and global factors as also some other measures to come out of that.
(Contd. by YSR-3B)
SHRIMATI VASANTHI STANLEY (CONTD.): The Indian economy is at the crossroads largely because of various domestic and global factors. Definitely, with your guidance, we could come out of that. The domestic factors include indiscriminate Government spending essentially on non-plan expenditure. A recent survey says that out of every one rupee spent by the Government, only 25 paise reach the poor. Even that is not reaching the poor and the needy. Not only that, Sir, rampant frauds are taking place in non-Plan expenditure scheme.
The DMK Government is never against the non-Plan expenditure of the Government. We also incur expenses over this. In a particular district in Tamil Nadu, there was a rampant fraud of nearly Rs.135 crore in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan alone. Not only this, this is happening everywhere in India. We should be careful about the imperfect delivery model for social spending and subsidies. There is complete failure on the issue of developing petroleum resources locally. There is no concerted and time-bound policy for oil self sufficiency. Inability to increase the share of manufacturing in GDP makes the country driven by export of services which will take a hit as the conditions for export of services decline globally. High level of inflation is the cause of rupee losing its value. Any currency would depreciate if the inflation is consistently higher than real interest rate. In India, the difference has been consistently above five per cent every year since 1994 which would theoretically mean rupee will depreciate at the rate of not less than five per cent every year. In this scenario, the slide in rupee can be prevented only if imports are reduced and exports pick up.
Now, I come to global factors. One is the slowdown of economy in Europe and elsewhere. The U.S., which faced a tough economic situation, adopted some measures by pumping money into system for four years by mopping up outstanding Government Bonds at the risk of inflation. But the move paid off largely because the US is a manufacturing economy which is not the case with us. Quantitative Easing, which was the plan, is being withdrawn now which would mean global liquidity will be further squeezed resulting in recession across the world.
Two, international oil prices being consistently high because of reduction in supplies from Libya and Iraq and due to sanctions against Iran.
I would suggest some short-term and long-term solutions. Shoring up rupee can be done only through reduction in current account deficit for which measures need to be initiated by providing disincentives for import of gold – that has already been done -- and other items of non-essentials. Perfumes and bikes come under the category of non-essentials. Some things, which are being produced by our small manufacturers, like locks and pens are being imported from China. If more tax can be levied on these items, definitely, our economy will improve. We need to take measures by providing disincentives for other items of non-essentials and conspicuous consumption.
Cutting down CAD through sovereign and non-sovereign bonds for NRI and overseas investors will plug a part of the CAD. We have to step up vigilance on speculative transaction which will increase volatility in the Indian Rupee.
Sir, long-term measures include initiating time-bound steps through administrative reforms for preventing wastage of money in areas of social spending. We need to step up domestic oil production and strengthen our manufacturing capacity. Agriculture production needs to be increased through innovative techniques as well as better storage facilities. I would like to underline here that on FDI our leader has reiterated that the interests of the small traders have to be taken into consideration. I would like to register it here, Sir.
With this observation, I would like to tell the Finance Minister that the Indian economy can definitely emerge more stronger if proper steps for recovery are taken in time. Thank you, Sir, for this opportunity.
(Followed by VKK/3C)
SHRI BAISHNAB PARIDA (ODISHA):Thank you, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to express my views on this important problem of our economy. Sir, I feel very disheartened by the state of our economy. The rosy picture, which was depicted a few years back regarding the high growth of our economy, controlling prices, controlling inflation and protecting our economy from the influence of global situation or global crisis, is gradually fading. The hope is fading. The rate of GDP growth of Indian economy declined from 6.3 per cent in 2011-12 to 4.5 per cent this year. Growth of agriculture, industry and service sectors is declining in our country. Capital goods production which provides the largest number of employment is now at its lowest level. It was just six per cent last year. We failed to control the price rise and inflation in the period 2011-13. The utter mismanagement of economy led to widespread corruption from the lowest level to the highest level of our administration and economy. The real income of the people and the purchasing power of the common man are decreasing day by day. Value of rupee is declining in comparison with the US dollar, affecting our economy. America is trying to solve its economic crisis at the cost of our interest. Our hope of bringing FDI into the country is becoming a day dream now. Why are FDI investors not feeling safe to come to India? It is because of our mismanagement and corruption in every sphere. They do not have confidence in us now and largely, it is affecting our hope of getting more investment from the foreign countries. Arcelor Mittal, the largest steel magnate of the world, has recently withdrawn their investment in Karnataka and Odisha. Future investment of Posco, one of the biggest steel magnates in the world, in Odisha is also not yet clear. It is happening due to the faulty policy of the UPA Government. The contradictory policy of different Ministries, environment clearance from other Ministries, the economic policy, the industrial policy, etc., are the main obstacles in the way of foreign investment in our country. Unemployment is growing day by day in our country. In this period, only four lakh jobs were created in India by the UPA Ministries. On the other hand, 1.26 lakh workers lost their jobs during this period. The unemployed youth of the country are impatient and frustrated, and they are gradually attracted to the extremist forces like Naxalism and other forces in our country. The farmers are frustrated and NREGA is a failure. How far will the food security programme, which you are going to introduce very soon, be fruitful? There is also a doubt....
(Contd. by KR/3d)
SHRI BAISHNAB PARIDA (CONTD.): .. because of the failure of the public distribution system and corruption everywhere. So, that will not lead to a solution to the poverty, or, the starvation problem in our rural areas.
Another thing is that we are claiming we will be allocating Rs.2,00,000 crores for our social welfare programmes. As some of my friends have quoted the famous saying of late Rajiv Gandhiji, only 25 per cent of a rupee reaches the targeted people. Nowadays corruption is much more widespread, and I am having a doubt whether allocation of funds reaches the rural poor people. My hon. friend, Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar was talking about Panchayati Raj. (Time-bell) I will take only one minute. We are proud of our Panchayati Raj system. We have introduced this system to implement the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, that is, Gram Swaraj. The Panchayati Raj system has not led to decentralisation of power, but it has led to decentralisation of corruption. From top level to the lower level, the corruption has spread; and all the villages are divided over it. There are lots of litigations filed. This has disturbed our social life also. So, we must give more attention to how to improve the Panchayati Raj system and how to eradicate the corruption. Unless we control corruption, unless we improve our managerial capacity, we can't improve our economy. Once the economy becomes crisis-ridden, it will affect the political system and destabilise the country. Thank you very much.
SHRI Y.S. CHOWDARY (ANDHRA PRADESH): Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak on the Short Duration discussion on the economic situation of the country. The Indian economy is not exempted from the world economy. As a matter of fact, the world economy also has been facing severe problems. The Indian economy is not different from the world economy, particularly when we are in the global village economic stand. While that is going on, in the year 2008, the UPA-I Government kept on saying that we were fully insulated, as well as, decoupled. Today, we have discovered that our economy is not insulated. As a matter of fact, our eyes and ears have been insulated. The manner in which the rupee got devalued shows the health of our economy. Many countries, particularly the USA, went through this. Though they have gone out of track mainly because of too much dependency on the service sector and reduction in manufacturing, they have quickly worked out on these areas and invested in shale gas and natural gas. They have started exploring; and that is going to be the game changer for the U.S. economy and in order to keep up their economy. We have been facing problems continuously because of the inconsistent policies. We are neither exploring our natural resources nor are we boosting our exports. It is mainly due to lopsided policies like building dams without understanding where the water is going to come from, and creating projects without getting environmental clearances. In Andhra Pradesh itself 6,000 MW power plant has been set up. Neither is there gas nor is environmental clearance. Though sometime back the environmental clearance was given, but unfortunately for various reasons it was cancelled.