Aruna Roy objects to direct cash transfer
Expressing “shock” at subsidy cuts Roy, who did not attend Friday’s meeting with the finance ministry, said, ” In a country that has fuelled its economic growth through exploitation of common property resources and the labour of the poor, to not have a tax to GDP ratio that is substantially higher only makes it clear that for India’s unorganized sector the candle is burning on both ends. Enough has already been said about the undiminished tax subsidies to the corporate sector, which will I am sure will be meeting you with increased demands.”
Suggesting that the business and social sector be met with jointly rather than “pigeon-holed” Roy said that banking heavily on cash transfers through the Aadhar scheme was a “huge mistake”. “The government is making a huge mistake in pushing Aadhaar and making it mandatory, without ensuring its viability. Glaring mismatches have already begun at the grass root level and the system being imposed is undemocratic and injudicious. Any further investment without proper and complete examination will undoubtedly lead to confirmed disaster,” she added.
Stressing that NREGS, food security bill and old age pension required the priority of the government, Roy said that the government was “steam rolling” opposition. “Yours was a government that empowered people to monitor government through the right to information act. Instead of showing the political will to act on demands for accountability, this government is proceeding on the assumption that technology will be the “game changer.” It is not that we oppose technology or even blindly oppose the use of technology for monitoring of welfare programmes. Many of us feel that it is not been adequately discussed, or rationally evaluated; instead all opposition and even questions are being steam rolled.”
She added that she was “extremely distressed” the food security bill has been pushed into cold storage and the contrary path of cash transfers is being relentlessly pursued.