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18.00 hrs

SHRI BIKRAM KESHARI DEO (KALAHANDI): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I fully support the Supplementary Demands for Grants placed before the House by the hon. Finance Minister. This has been brought about to defray the charges which will be accruing in due course and to meet the deficits which have arisen out of the Kargil war and other unforeseen expenses besides the regular expenditure of the Central Government.

Mr. Chairman, Sir, I would like to stress here that this Government of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee - particularly Shri Yashwant Sinha who has again got the responsibility of holding the Finance Ministry - has proved that the previous Government during the 12th Lok Sabha had served the nation to its utmost. I come from the State of Orissa which is one of the most backward States of the country, as per the Lakadawala Committee Report; the people living below the poverty line in Orissa is more than 60 per cent. Therefore, this clearly indicates that the State of Orissa has been completely neglected in the past by the previous Governments and specially the region known as KBK. The KBK region comprises of the districts of Koraput, Kalahandi and Bolongir, where there were allegations of starvation deaths, where there were allegations of migration and where there were allegations of children being sold for Rs.20. This was the picture during the period of the Congress Governments which ruled the State of Orissa and the country.

Our Government tried its best to remove these black spots in our democracy and had initiated the KBK programme with utmost dedication and vigour. Today you can see that most of the projects in those areas had been sanctioned during the period of the 12th Lok Sabha. I would therefore plead with the hon. Finance Minister, through you, Sir, that the irrigation projects which were not completed may be completed during this financial year itself and the problems of poverty may be solved.

As I was going through the Budget papers, I saw that the unprecedented attack by Pakistan on Kashmir in Kargil sector has affected the Indian Exchequer to a great extent. That is why, they need additional funds to defray charges on account of Operation Vijay, for transportation work of the Army, for transportation work of the Air Force, etc. It is also seen that additional moneys have also been given to poverty alleviation programmes. In Demand No.71, it has been clearly mentioned that an amount of Rs.91 crore has been earmarked for the IRDP programmes, an amount of Rs.340 crore has been earmarked for economic assurance schemes and an amount of Rs.120 crore has been earmarked for special loan assistance for DRDA.

This clearly indicates that this money will go to the backward areas of the country where it is needed the most. It is also seen that this sector was completely neglected by the previous Government. Today, our Government is bound to remove poverty from the society and the country.

I would like to remind the august House that Navaratnas, where the organised sector of the country works, are in dire straits.

18.04 hours (Shrimati Margaret Alva in the Chair)

They are in dire straits. Take the example of SAIL, take the example of NALCO, take the example of Hindustan Cables, or NEPA Limited or Burns India Limited. All these companies were runby political postings previously lacking expertise, thereby leading to the failure of these projects. Today, they should have been blue chip companies of the country but they have turned poor companies and they are in red because of bad management and policies of the previous Governments.

The Government have taken steps to take the economy towards liberalisation. A few days ago this House has passed several Bills like the Insurance and the FEMA Bills. This would give boost to the economy which is in a poor

state which this Government inherited from the Congress Government. This dying economy has to be improved. New legislations have been brought forward to take full advantage of the liberalisation.

Before I conclude, I would like to make a mention about the cyclone that swept Orissa. Recently my State, Orissa, was ravaged because of the super cyclone. Cyclone of this nature which has hit the Orissa coast is unprecedented and unheard of. The hon. Prime Minister has provided grants to the extent of Rs. 950 crore. I thank the hon. Prime Minister for that. This issue was discussed in this House a few days ago.

The Orissa Government has messed up the whole situation. It is unable to execute the relief work properly. Scandals, one after the other, are coming up in the relief work. From this, one can understand that the Congress which should be humane in its approach towards the flood-affected and cyclone-affected people, is behaving very callously. I plead to the Government that steps should be taken on a warfooting, a machinery should be set up, to see that the benefits of the relief work reach the affected people. There has been an announcement to the effect that Cyclone Reconstruction Committee would be set up. This should be set up immediately.

With these few words, I conclude. Thank you.

SHRI J.S. BRAR (FARIDKOT): Madam, I would like to bring to the notice of the Government and the House that Guru Teg Bahadur's Martyrdom Day falls on 13th December. Earlier, the Delhi Government declared holiday on 24th November, but when it came to know that it is on 13th December, it has declared holiday on 13th December. I got it confirmed that the House never transacted any business on this historic day. If the House has never done business on this day, this time it should be considered.

SHRI PRAVIN RASHTRAPAL (PATAN): Madam, hon. Finance Minister has approached this House with a request to withdraw huge sum from CFI. In fact, it is a mini Budget and it is not a Supplementary Demands for Grants. Before the House gives him permission, through you, I would like him to inform the House as to whether his Budget proposals providing facilities and exemptions are successful or not. Generally, the party in power, when it goes to the elections, talks of poor people, unorganised sector and agriculturists. But immediately after elections, the Government holds its first meeting with audience to INTUC, AITUC and other trade unions and other vulnerable sections represented by certain NGOs and Parliamentarians. I was employed in the Revenue Department. I would like to know from the hon. Minister as to what is the status of the black money in this country.

For all these years, the industrialists and rich people of this country were demanding that the Government should reduce the tax limit if it wants to collect more tax from the people. According to me, the present limit is one of the lowest in the world. As per many economists, as also the Press Reports, if one compares the rate of collection linking with the index and inflation, in spite of the reduction in limit the Government could not collect enough tax as compared to the tax collected in the year 1991. Let the House know the response of the hon. Minister. Why, even after the decision of the Government to introduce a heavy reduction, particularly in direct taxes, people did not respond? I welcome Corporate Tax but I do not welcome a Finance Minister selected by a corporate sector. During the last two to three years, the Government has not paid proper attention to various social sectors. I would like to bring to the kind notice of the hon. Finance Minister a few areas from where the country can get more and more revenue without imposing tax. For all these years, we have somehow ignored these areas.

As a Revenue Officer, I was posted at a minor port known as Bhavnagar. Under Section 192 of the Income Tax Act, I was supposed to give clearance certificate for the departure of cargo steamer. I enquired from them as to what was being exported because Bhavnagar is not manufacturing any particular item which can be exported. I was shocked, astonished, surprised to know that they were exporting rice husk and marble chips which are otherwise thrown away in our country. I then enquired from the exporter as to what they were doing with these two articles. I was informed that rice husk has about 8 per cent of rice bran oil. We do not undertake that job here as a result tonnes and tonnes of rice husk is being exported from a minor port to foreign countries. I also enquired about the marble chips which we throw away. I was told that they convert it into a powder which was again imported by our country for beautifying big bungalows.

Sir, I come from a constituency which is agro-based. About 60 per cent to 80 per cent of China Grass or the Isabgol is being produced in Patan, Rajasthan and Gujarat. I was surprised to know that the Isabgol being produced at Mehsana and certain districts of Rajasthan was exported to Japan and America by Air. I enquired as to why it was being exported. I was told that we do not have the processing machines which Americans or Japanese have. It is processed there and again sent back to our country at a cost which is twenty times more. It is used as a laxative. If it is enclosed in a capsule, it can act as a medicine. Like these, there are many sectors from where the Central Government can earn more revenue. If the Government could earn revenue from these sectors, there would not have been any need to approach the House with this Supplementary Demand.... (Interruptions) Madam, I am making points.

MR. CHAIRMAN : There are so many more speakers even from your Party and there is not enough time. I cannot give more than 10 minutes to each Member.

SHRI PRAVIN RASHTRAPAL : The Government should not go for mega cities, info cities and macro cities. I am making the statement with a responsibility. This Government is pro-urban, pro-rich, anti-poor, anti-villages and anti-agriculturists.

I will give you a small example. I come from a State where in human system of carrying night-soil on head is even now going on. There are no funds with the Central Government or the State Government for removing that. But we have sufficient funds for flyovers, over-bridges, mega cities, metro cities and what not. My State Government had requested the Central Government to give Rs.100 crore for drinking water. My State Government requested for Rs.600 crore only. but it was not given. Hardly Rs.40 crore to Rs.50 crore was given. So I would request the hon. Finance Minister that before this House passes this Bill, kindly come forward and tell what was the result of various schemes, namely, SAMADHAN, etc. announced by you for the rich people. We would also like to know whether the blackmoney has come down or it has increased.

SHRI TRILOCHAN KANUNGO (JAGATSINGHPUR): Madam, Chairperson, I have been hearing with rapt attention the illuminating speeches from both sides on the Supplementary Budget. I heard hon. Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar when he was eulogizing our macro economic achievements. There is no harm if macro economic achievements are eulogized. But the state of micro economic imbalances has been ignored. When he was telling that in all sectors of the economy, there will be good growth and good achievement, they have forgotten one part of the country, namely, Eastern part of India -- Orissa -- which has lost everything. If one limb is suffering from disease how can you say and vouch that the growth is balanced one and we have achieved very many good things. I have been always holding this view. The Constitution was so framed, the laws thereunder were so enacted, the administration at the Centre so beloved and the politics is so designed that they have stood always to the detriment of the interest of the backward classes. It was emphasized at the time of framing the Constitution that if such provisions were there, if the Constitution would contain such provisions then the backward States like Orissa, Bihar, Assam (C.P) and Madhya Pradesh would remain always backward. During 52 years of Independence, these four States have remained backward and if such Constitutional provisions will continue, if such attitude will continue then those States will remain always backward.


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