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CITU, AIDWA Condemn BJP's Interim Budget, Call for Nationwide Protests on Feb 16

CITU denounces interim budget as deceptive ploy by BJP to regain power; AIDWA terms it ‘Pre-election propaganda.’
CITU denounces interim budget as deceptive ploy by BJP to regain power; AIDWA terms it ‘Pre-election propaganda.’

New Delhi: The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) strongly condemn Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman's interim budget, branding it as a concoction of falsehoods and a blatant attempt to privatise essential sectors, betraying the interests of the common people, workers, peasants, and particularly women.

CITU denounces the interim budget as a deceptive ploy by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to regain power, relying on unfounded claims of increased average income and moderate inflation. The union exposes the harsh reality of rising prices of essential commodities, unemployment, and falling real wages, highlighted by international reports like the ILO and UNO. The Finance Minister's attempt to compare the current government's performance with the previous one is refuted by CITU, pointing to the unprecedented privatisation of PSUs under the Modi-led BJP government. Concerns are raised about opening defence research and development to private players and allocating substantial corpus for interest-free loans to the private sector.

CITU further highlights the dubious nature of BJP's claims by underscoring unspent amounts allocated to agriculture and farmers' welfare. The interim budget, lacking positive steps for workers and peasants, is seen as a continuation of the government's anti-worker, anti-peasant, and anti-people policies. In response, CITU calls for nationwide mass mobilisations, including strikes, to protest against these detrimental policies.

On the other hand, AIDWA expresses deep disappointment with the Central Government's interim budget, labelling it as “pre-election propaganda.” The organisation critiques the government's claims of 'women's empowerment' amidst continued economic distress, decreasing women's paid employment, and rising hunger. AIDWA questions the Finance Minister's assertion that women's empowerment depends on outcomes, emphasising the importance of budgetary allocations for women's development. The organisation scrutinises budget allocations, revealing a lack of commitment to women's welfare, and raises concerns about the government's commitment to addressing malnutrition and hunger.

The organisation exposes the government's misleading claims regarding the PM Awas Yojana and NRLM, illustrating the vast disparities between announced achievements and actual outcomes. AIDWA further critiques the government's savings scheme for girl children, pointing out its failure to deliver on promises of women's empowerment.

Both CITU and AIDWA call upon their affiliated unions, members, and democratic forces to unite in a nationwide mass mobilisation on February 16. This includes industrial/sectoral strikes and the Grameen Bundh call of Samyukth Kisan Morcha and Joint CTUs, voicing collective opposition against the anti-people policies reflected in the BJP government's interim budget.

Read Full Statements Below: 


The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) slams the interim budget placed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman as a bunch of lies and a desperate attempt to privatisation. It is an attempt to come back to power by claiming that the average income of people has increased by 50% and inflation is moderate, which is a myth, while the reality is otherwise with raising prices of essential commodities and unemployment across the nation. The ILO report has unravelled falling real wages across the world including India and UNO report on Poverty Index ranking has exposed the performance of India as worst of the times. Interim budget instead of infusing confidence in the people struggling to meet the ends of their life as only made cruel fun of reality.

Finance Minister in her shortest budget speech has desperately claimed to compare the performance of Modi led BJP Govt with the earlier, while the fact remains that this is the regime under which Privatisation of PSU’s to the huge extent of Rs.4.09 lakh crores was done which is the highest ever in the nation and has set the target of divesting Rs.50000 crores worth PSU shares in FY 25 as against the target of Rs.30000 crores for FY 24. The interim budget has further opened up defence research and development to private players and a corpus of Rs.1 lakh crores is set up for enabling it, to fund 50 years interest free loans to private sector to achieve it in the guise of innovations.

The tall claims made while placing budget in terms of allocation to various welfare were unspent and surrendered back as seen in the case of surrender of Rs 1 lakh crores unspent amount allocated to Agriculture farmers welfare between 2019-20  to 2022-23 reveals the dubious nature of the BJP Govt claims and the fraud on people played by it.

It's a mark of sarcasm that while BJP Govt at the centre is doing everything to dismantle the very concept of federalism enshrined in Constitution, the budget has claimed to chalk out blue print for next generation of reforms in consultation with the states. The track record of last 10 years rule of this Govt clearly demonstrate that its anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti-people and anti-national, true to its character the interim budget has not uttered any positive steps for the workers, peasants and general public at large, rather has claimed to lay down the blue print of its Vikasit Bharath by June 24 coming back to power.  True to its neo liberal policies it shall be pro corporate & pro rich Vikasit Bharat which it wishes to build by 2047.

In this back ground CITU calls upon its affiliated unions and its members to make the Feb 16th nation wide mass mobilisations including industrial /sectoral strike & Grameen Bundh call of Samyukth Kisan Morcha and Joint CTU’s a success.

All India Democratic Women’s Association 


The All India Democratic Women’s Association expresses deep disappointment at the Central Government’s interim budget 2024-25 which is nothing but a pre-election propaganda document. The pronouncement of the so-called successes in ‘women’s empowerment’ should be seen in the context of the continued economic distress, falling women’s paid employment and rising hunger. This has taken a huge toll and created tremendous misery in the lives of women.

The Finance Minister must take a reality check and stop deceiving the women of the country.  India’s position in WEF’s Gender Parity Index is 127 out of 146 countries in 2023; its position in the Global Hunger Index is continuously worsening and is 111 out of 125 nations in 2022.  Further, as per the latest NCRB report of 2021, suicides amongst daily wage workers went up by 170 percent for male workers, and 137 percent for women workers between 2014 and 2021. This reveals the extent of the distress of women and their families in the current times.

The Finance Minister's claims that women’s empowerment depends on ‘outcomes and not outlays’, implies that budgetary allocations are not important for women’s development. It is therefore not surprising that the Budget speech makes no announcements about immediate relief for the people reflecting on the continued abysmal levels of public spending. 

The projected total expenditure of the state is down to 14.54 percent of the GDP, of which about 24 percent are interest payments. The allocations under the gender budget are projected at about 5-6 percent of the total expenditure, which is a near constant from the last year, whereas the allocations to the Ministry of Women and Child development continues to be about 0.5 percent of the total expenditure. These allocations make a mockery of the government’s claim of fostering ‘Nari Shakti’.

It is significant that there is no mention of the MGNREGS, which has a significant number of women beneficiaries, in the speech. This is a reflection of the continuous efforts of the government to kill the scheme; the actual allocations where the budgetary estimate for 2024-25 is the same as that of the revised estimate of 2023-24, and about 5 percent lower than the actual expenditure of 2022-23.  This also includes the back wages of workers that have not been paid by the government. It is also important to highlight that less than 1 percent of the 56 million households applying for work got 100 days of work, while job cards of more than 5.48 Cr MNREGA workers were deleted in 2022-2023.

Similarly, the government mentions free food to 80 Cr people as an achievement; but the budget document shows that the Modi government is not bothered about hungry people. The allocation for food subsidy is about 25 percent lower than the actual expenditure made in 2022-23 and 5 percent lower than the revised estimate of 2023-24. The Mission Anganwadi Saksham and POSHAN, which is crucial for addressing malnutrition, has been facing cutbacks for a few years now. In this budget, the government has reduced the allocation by 1.5 percent as compared to the revised estimates of 2023-2024. It is clear that the government is opening up this sector to private players and corporate NGOs, as the expenditure under it has been going down.

Another claim being made by the government is about the benefit to women from the PM Awas Yojana, where 70 percent beneficiaries are meant to be women. This so-called achievement is exposed by the fact that the revised estimate of the scheme is about 26.5 percent less than the actual expenditure of 2022-23. The government itself states in the implementation document, that though they had targetted completion of 53 lakh houses, only 13 lakhs were completed. Further, the government has also made tall claims about ‘lakhpati didi’, through the NRLM, whose allocation is abysmal and has seen no significant increases. In fact, the scheme is being used to entice women into production and operation of drones for agriculture with an allocation of 1261 Cr, as stated in PM’s independence day speech. This shows that the NRLM is being used as an instrument to create the links between rural women and agri-businesses (like the NAMO drone didi scheme).

The savings scheme for girl children announced in the last budget has been a non-starter, and the frauds in Jan Dhan scheme have been exposed by CAG. Hence, the government's propaganda on these schemes as ‘women’s empowerment’ is untenable.

Social sector expenditures have seen stagnant and declining trends. 70 percent of the Nirbhaya fund was unspent by December 2023, and the level of expenditure of Mission Shakti schemes are also more or less stagnant. The demands of ASHA and Anganwadi workers for regularisation and increased wages have been ignored; instead the government only promises to link them under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. The expenditure of scholarships for girls and students from vulnerable groups sees no significant changes. The declining trend in the allocations for minorities continues, and whereas the allocation forNational Social Assistance scheme is stagnant. In the case of development of SC, ST and other vulnerable groups, revised estimates of 2023-24 are about 30-40 percent of budget estimates, implying that implementation of programmes is not taking place. This shows that its hype of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas and Sabka Vishwas’ is just an illusion.

Finally, the government claims that it has passed the triple talaq and women’s quota bill as proof of its commitment to Nari Shakti. The AIDWA has made extensive critiques of these claims in the past and will continue to expose this anti-women government. It calls upon all democratic forces and women to unite for defeating this authoritarian and manuwadi government in the general elections of 2024.

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