New Delhi: With Centre's pre-budget consultations getting underway, CPI today demanded
"substantial" increase in allocations for social sector schemes in light of "unprecedented inequalities" caused by pursuit of neo-liberal economic policies in the country.
Noting that International Monetary Fund (IMF) too has recommended increasing spending on social sector, CPI stated that the Centre hikes allocations for education, health care, integrated child development services (ICDS) and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
"Government should acknowledge that neo-liberal economic policies have led to unprecedented inequalities throughout the world including countries like US. India also has fallen prey to such policies.
"Therefore, IMF had suggested there should be more spending on social sector. We demand Centre to enhance budget for such schemes substantially," CPI national secretary D Raja said.
Earlier, the Left party had favoured spending six and three per cent of GDP on education and health care sectors respectively.
"Now, the spending on education sector should be increased to 10 per cent, while that on health care be doubled to six per cent," he added.
The Rajya Sabha member expressed concerns over "drastic" cut in funding for ICDS and the MGNREGA and demanded that allocations for the two schemes is also increased heavily.
"In states like (undivided) Andhra Pradesh, there is a legislation that ensures SC and ST sub-plan. Now, we demand a Central legislation guaranteeing funds for sub-plans," he said.