State-Owned Defence Industry Sidelined In Union Budget 2022-23

Private Corporates being benefitted at cost of Ordnance Factories and DPSUs, says C. Srikumar, General Secretary of AIDEF

After every Union Budget there will be views and opinions in favour and support of the Budget. This year many were expecting that due to Assembly Elections of 5 States the Budget will have lot of relief package to the lower middle class and middle class people. However, they were totally disappointed as there is nothing in the Budget immediately to give them relief. The salaried class were expecting atleast some hike in the Income Tax Slab. Sharp reaction were there from various political parties and organizations.

From the Trade Unions the immediate reaction was from AITUC General Secretary Amarjit Kaur who stated “the Budget is not for giving something to ordinary people, but it is actually taking away from them”

A major announcement made in the Budget by the Finance Minister is about further impetus to Armed Forces modernization & Defence security infrastructure development and 68% of capital procurement budget to be earmarked for domestic industry, 25% of the defence R&D Budget earmarked for private industry and startups. To know the reaction on the Budget and also about the Finance Minister’s announcement with regard to the Defence, contacted C. Srikumar, General Secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation and a senior Trade Union leader of Central Govt. Employees. His reaction on the Union Budget 2022-23 is given below for the information of our viewers.

C. Srikumar stated “the Union Budget is a total pro-corporate budget and it is against the interest of the common man, especially the lower middle class and middle class salaried people. while Corporates are given all types of concessions, the common man has to find ways and means for his survival in these hard days. A big claim is made in the Budget about providing employment to 65 lakh youth. From where these employment will be created nobody knows. There are about 9 lakh post lying vacant in Central Government Departments, especially in the Railways and Defence Industries. Moreover, 4 lakh posts are lying vacant in the Public Sector Undertakings. There is no announcement to fill up these vacancies, rather the Departments are told to abolish all the posts lying vacant for more than one year. The Government employees and Pensioners are already worst affected, since their 18 months DA has been completely frozen and no announcement in the Budget for releasing the same. The employees who were recruited in the Central Government after 01/01/2004 were struggling that the no guarantee NPS should be withdrawn and old Pension Scheme should be restored. The FM has not considered this demand in the Budget. The Budget mainly concentrate on privatizing the public sector and handing over all activities to private corporate. No relief for the salaried people as there is no change in the Income Tax slab. No scheme or proposal for controlling the price rise or strengthening the Public Distribution System. LPG subsidy has become almost NIL. As regards the announcements made with regard to Defence is also nothing but completely opening the door to the private corporate. The Ordnance Factory employees are struggling to withdraw the Government decision of Corporatising the Ordnance Factories. There is no financial support from the Government post Corporatisation of Ordnance Factories. The Factories are being asked to survey of their own. Huge announcement is being made 68% of Capital Procurement of the Defence equipment will be from the domestic industry. But the 41 Ordnance Factories are struggling for workload. They are being deprived without providing work order to them, so as to make them sick industry. What will be the share of 68% of Capital procurement budget to the Indian Ordnance Factories and Defence Public Sector. The budget is silent on this. Even the newly designed Digital Army Uniform work order is not being placed to the Ordnance Factories. They are being asked to compete with private sector, so that they will not get the work order. Is it in the interest of the Army? 25% of Defence R&D Budget is now allotted to the Private Industry. The Private industry will utilize the Tax payers money for developing their industry. Why the same facility is being denied to the Ordnance Factories. The Defence Ministry in its press release has stated that “ towards hand holding of the newly created seven DPSUs Rs.1665 Crore in RE 2021-22 and Rs.1310 Crore in BE 2022-23 has been earmarked for their planned modernization”.

He added that one doesn’t understand that when the existing Plant & Machineries and highly competent manpower is kept idle by not providing sufficient work load, what type of modernization is going to take place. In a nutshell, the Central Government Employees and the Defence Civilian Employees are completely disappointed, since there is going to be further attack on them, since no concession in Tax but the prices of all commodities are going to be further increased. Ultimate beneficiaries of the Budget are big business houses and that is why they are giving a red carpet welcome to the budget 2022-23.

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