The Lok Satta Party said today the Government has given a new definition to State funding of elections by unveiling schemes that fetch votes to the ruling party at the cost of the exchequer. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Government has given a goby to propriety and used the ‘vote-on-account’ budget to announce schemes that promote the ruling party’s interests and ensured that non-Plan expenditure is much more than Plan expenditure.
Talking to the media, Mr. D. V. V. S. Varma, Lok Satta Party General Secretary, said the allocation of Rs.825 core to the Department of Information and Public Relations in the budget exposes the ruling party’s designs to utilize Government funds for propaganda purposes also.
Mr. Varma regretted that the Government persisted with its policy of providing sops and freebies by viewing people as voting machines in flesh and blood instead of treating them with dignity and enabling them to stand on their own feet. The food subsidy scheme is going to cost Rs.3000 crore during 2009-10 because the Government is not interested in weeding out bogus cards and ensuring that only the deserving got rations. The Government does not pay attention to ensuring supply of quality power even as it spends Rs.5000 crore on subsidy.
Mr. Varma said Finance Minister K. Rosaiah was indulging in cock and bull stories when he claimed the Government imposed no new taxes. How could the Government claim a revenue of Rs.16,000 crore from liquor sales when it was committed to reducing liquor consumption in stages?
Mr. Varma also faulted the Government for not taking the economic downturn all over the country seriously.