New Delhi: Two days ahead of the Union Budget by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala pleaded not to come out with another series of "jumla" of allocations that are hardly spent.
He told her she pretends to be liberal in allocations but a reality check shows only half the money is spent. In case of the welfare of minority affairs, 71% of her allocation remained unspent. In the reality check, Surjewala showed 57% of food processing budget allocations remained unspent, 51% of budget for agriculture and Panchayati Raj remained unspent and so were 43% of social justice and 42.4% of the PM Kisan Nidhi. In a series of tweets on the state of economy, he cited two schemes for women welfare, Nirbhaya Fund of Rs201 crore and home for widow scheme of Rs15 crore, in which not a single rupee was actually spent. He said the minister had made a big allocation of Rs1,330 crore for women empowerment scheme but 84.60% of it remains unspent as only Rs205 crore were spent.
The same goes for Beti Bachao in which 84.30% of Rs280 crore remained unspent, working women hostel scheme in which 88% of Rs165 crore was not spent since only Rs20 crore could be spent while only Rs9 crore could be spent on the Ujjawala Yojana against the allocation of Rs30 crore. Surjewala said a somewhat respectable expenditure of Rs1,103 crore was made under the national nutrition mission though 67.57% of the total allocation of Rs3,400 crore remained unspent.
He said the farmers remain oppressed since the liberal allocation of Rs1,38,564 crore for them in the budget meant nothing when 51% of the money remains unspent.
The same is true of the PM Kisan Nidhi of Rs75,000 crore in which 40.34% remains unspent. The worst is the Agri Market Infra Fund of Rs2,000 crore announced by Sitharaman in the last budget as 99.50% of it remains unspent.
Surjewala claimed deliberate injustice to the scheduled castes as the social welfare budget remained unspent to the extent of 43% while 92.6% of the Babu Jagjivan Ram Hostel scheme remained unspent as only Rs8 crore were spent of the allocation of Rs108 crore. He said Rs30 crore were provided for free coaching to the SCs but actual expenditure is only Rs7 crore while 77% remains unspent. The allocation for post matric scholarships was Rs2,927 crore but only Rs1,731 crore were spent, leaving 41% unspent while only Rs183 crore were spent of the Rs355 crore allocated for pre-matric scholarship.