The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Wednesday sought to nail the lie inherent in the ``trickle down theory'' advocated by both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, and questioned the two main parties' policies of subsiding the rich and cutting subsidies for the poor.
Releasing another set of election-related booklets – this time targetting corruption and the economic policies in vogue – Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said: ``Tax concessions for the rich are billed as incentives for growth and subsidies for the poor are said to be bad for growth.''
On the success the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has had in drawing attention to the two issues which has been flagged by the CPI(M) with much less success for years now, Mr. Yechury said he ``welcomed'' the fact that other parties are raising this issue but sought to drive home the point that the media had a role to play in the better coverage AAP's campaign has got. ``The Left has been speaking out against corruption for years, but if somebody else does it, it is news.''
Meanwhile, sourcing information from Budget documents, the CPI(M) pointed out that the aggregate revenue foregone from central taxes was Rs. 4.14 lakh crore in 2008-09 and has been steadily growing since. It is projected to be Rs. 5.74 lakh crore for 2012-13. At the same time, the Government has been cutting down on subsidies.``In the current budget of 2014-15 there has been a cut in social services expenditure in the last financial of Rs. 28,650 crore rupees.''
Referring to the ``trickle down theory'', the CPI(M) document pointed out that ``obscene inequalities'' have created two Indias – shining and suffering (chamakta and tarasta Bharat in Hindi) – with 80 per cent of rural households and 45 per cent of urban households having a daily per capita consumer expenditure of just Rs. 50 or less in 2011-12. On the other end of the spectrum, India has 70 dollar billionaires with their number growing by 33 per cent as per the Hurun 2014 global rich list.
``The net worth of India's billionaires has grown by 12 times in 15 years. It is enough to eliminate absolute poverty twice over in the country,'' the CPI(M) pointed out with Mr. Yechury adding that this was all the result of crony capitalism. ``If you want a corruption-free India, then the private sector, corporates and all private-public projects under legal scrutiny of anti-corruption laws like the Lokpal.''