Unemployment has become the biggest problem in the country, along with price rise of essential commodities, and the government must take urgent steps to resolve the two key issues, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said on Wednesday.
Initiating the debate on the Union Budget on the third day of the discussion, he said despite having higher degrees scores of youths in the country are without jobs.
“As they don’t have jobs, many of the youths are under depression,” Abdullah said.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said the prices of all essential commodities are on the rise and people are suffering due to it.
He said oil price is sky rocketing which is having a cascading effect on all products as most them are being transported from one place to others and asked the government to reduce the taxes on petroleum products to give relief to the people.
“Now the poor is becoming poorer and the rich is becoming richer,” he said.
Abdullah said fund allocation to the employment generating scheme MGNREGA, which is the lifeline for the poor, has been reduced and asked the government to allocate more funds to it.
He appealed to the government to ensure that locals get the employment opportunities at the ongoing power projects in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NC leader complimented the government for withdrawing the three farm laws as demanded by farmers and suggested that in future if any bill is brought, it should be referred to a select committee first for better scrutiny.
“We are not your enemies but can give you some better suggestions,” he said.
Demanding industry status for the tourism sector, he said that scores of people in Jammu and Kashmir are involved in tourism and such a move will benefit them a lot.
He also asked the government to protect the interests of the local apple growers as they are being hit by the import of the fruit from abroad.
Abdullah also appealed to the government to complete the process of the recruitment for border battalions in Jammu and Kashmir, saying there has been apprehension that youths from outside the Union Territory will get preference over locals.
He said education and health are the two key sectors for the overall growth of the country, hence, there should be more allocation of funds for construction of roads and tunnels and medical care.
Participating in the debate, BJP member from West Bengal Dilip Ghosh said the 2022-23 budget is a roadmap for the next 25 years and devoid of any sparkling announcement.
He said emphasises has been given on construction of 25,000 km of highways and 2,000 km modern accident-free railway lines.
Complimenting the PM Gatishakti project, he said this will give a big boost to the country’s economic activities and help develop infrastructure and communication networks.
Referring to West Bengal, he said the ruling dispensation there has given an impression that it just has one problem, that is the current governor and his removal is the only task they have.
“As if all problems of West Bengal will be solved once the state Governor is removed, he said, referring to the ongoing verbal duals between Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and state leadership, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“It has become a fashion for them to abuse the Governor and the Prime Minister, he claimed.
Ghosh slammed the West Bengal government for not making available land for projects related to highway, railways, airports and industries.
“If there is no land, how will the projects come up, how will jobs be created,” he asked.
The BJP leader claimed that the TMC government is yet to present a budget for the next fiscal and alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is currently touring Uttar Pradesh for election campaigns.
He alleged that the BJP workers are being regularly attacked in West Bengal.
“Bomb blasts are taking place regularly in many districts. The state has become a den for gangsters from across the country and terrorists from Bangladesh. The common people are living in fear,” he claimed.
Ghosh alleged that 60 BJP workers were killed after the assembly polls held in 2021 and 42,000 cases were filed against BJP workers.
He claimed the BJP workers are being threatened so that they don’t take part in the coming local body polls.
“There is no democracy in West Bengal. It is a big challenge,” he said.
The BJP leader said the state government has deprived the people of healthcare benefits as it has not yet allowed the implementation of central government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme of free treatment.
Earlier, during the Zero Hour, BJP member Ramesh Bidhuri claimed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has been giving regular allowances to the Imams of mosques and demanded that the priests of Delhi’s 6,000 temples should also be given government allowances.
He claimed that Kejriwal is now more interested in going to other states rather than concentrating on providing good governance to the people of the city
Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi said the condition of the National Highway 37 between Nagaon and Dibrugarh in Assam is pathetic and there is no progress in the proposed widening of the road into four lanes.
The four lanes were supposed to be completed by 2019 but they are far from complete even now, he said and asked the government to do the needful.
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