Budget 2024: Congress attacks Modi govt over massive unemployment, rising disparities

Three days before the interim Budget, Khera highlighted the alarming economic disparities, saying that the per capita monthly income of the bottom 10% is only Rs 6,000

Photo: AICC
Photo: AICC

NH Political Bureau

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the Modi government over rising economic distress, unemployment and on the negative growth in the agriculture sector.

Three days before the interim Budget, Khera highlighted the alarming economic disparities at a press conference in Delhi, pointing out that the per capita monthly income of the bottom 10% is only Rs 6,000.

He also emphasised that household savings are at a 50-year low in the country.

Attacking Modi government over unemployment, Khera said unemployed youths are willing to go to war torn country Israel because wages are 13-14 times higher than India.

National Skill Development Cooperation (NSDC) has recently advertised 10,000 jobs in Israel, including roles like plastering workers, ceramic tile workers, iron bending workers, and framework workers. Lakhs of unemployed youths from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country have taken part in the recruitment drive.

Khera attributed this to the stark income disparity, where the average monthly income in India is just Rs 10,000, while Israel offers over 1,30000 per month.

“One-half of the Indian people (71 crore) have an income of Rs 3,87,000 per year or less, or about Rs 32,000 a month or less. The per capita monthly income of the bottom 10 per cent is just Rs 6,000 and of the bottom 11-20 per cent is Rs 12,000” said Khera.

Accusing the government of diverting attention with the 'Viksit Bharat' slogan, Khera said that the Budget would follow suit, with the Finance Minister praising the Prime Minister and making superficial claims.

Cautioning against being swayed by the glamour of the Budget speech, Khera urged to have focus on the grim reality faced by half of India's population, where 71 crore people earn Rs 3,87,000 or less per year.

Disputing the government's claims about poverty reduction, Khera cited the UNDP's multi-dimensional poverty index, revealing that 22.8 crore people, approximately 16% of the population, are still below the poverty line.

He highlighted the reliance on MGNREGA, pointing out that the promised 100 days of work were not fulfilled, with workers receiving only 49-51 days on average. Despite budget cuts in 2023-24, an additional allocation of Rs 28,000 crore was necessary due to high rural joblessness.

Addressing the unemployment crisis, Khera noted that one in three graduates is both seeking a job and feeling insecure about existing employment. Formal job creation, he claimed, has hit a 30-month low, making India the "Vishwaguru in Joblessness" with a 45-year high unemployment rate under the Modi government.

“One in three graduates is looking for a job, but not getting it. And one in three graduates is also insecure of losing his/her job. Formal job creation has fallen to a 30-month low, which means there are no jobs for oureducated youth. In the past 10 years, Modi Govt has made India the Vishwaguru in Joblessness – with a 45 year-high unemployment rate,” added the Congress spokesperson.

On the negative growth in the agriculture sector, Khera compared the current situation to the growth rate during the UPA rule. Under Modi's governance, the growth rate of real rural wages has become negative, with daily wages for men in rural India dropping from Rs 220 in 2014 to Rs 212 in 2022-23.

Khera contrasted this with the substantial growth during UPA-2 (2009-10 to 2013-14), where real agriculture and non-agriculture rural wages grew at 8.6% and 6.9% per annum, respectively.

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