New Delhi: Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday described the budget announcements by the Narendra Modi government over Minimum Support Price (MSP) for foodgrains, job creation and the Ayushman Bharat scheme as its three "jumlas" (gimmicks) before the 2019 polls.
Initiating a debate in Rajya Sabha over budget 2018-19, the senior Congress leader attacked the Modi government throughout his 40-minute speech amid continuous ruckus and sloganeering by members from the treasury benches demanding apology from the Congress for such disruptions during the Prime Minister's reply in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address.
"The biggest jumla is the world's largest government-funded medical insurance announced as Ayushman Bharat. There is no budgetary allocation. Not even Re 1 has been allotted," Chidambaram said amid thumping of desks from Opposition benches.
"From where will you raise resources of Rs 1 lakh crore? There is no way you can do that in the remainder of the next one year.
"No jobs, farmers in distress, education in shambles. Children's health record too is pathetic. You are leaving behind a limping nation. All I can hope is we will not have to listen to another budget by you," he said.
Recalling that even before assuming office, this government had promised 2 crore jobs every year, he said that proper jobs is "employment that is regular, certain and reasonably secure". He them asked how many International Labour Organisation (ILO) defined jobs it has generated in the last four years or the government would suggest the ILO to include those selling pakodas in its definition for employment.
"Ours is the only country that says GDP is falling but employment is increasing. What kind of jumla is this?" he said.
Hitting out at government over its claims of doubling farmers income, he said that between 2004 and 2014, MSP increased by 100 per cent. "But for the last three years, you fooled the farmers."
Chidambaram said his party support Triple Talaq Bill but not these "Three Jumlas".