The Congress on Monday said that the amount allocated for the education sector in the Union Budget 2017-18 is a misleading figure as the government has actually reduced the allocation instead of increasing it.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the Narendra Modi government has been consistently cutting down the Budget for education ever since it has come to power.
This year, the government has allocated Rs 79,685.95 crore for the education sector. Last year, the allocation was Rs 72,394 crore.
Although it is around 10 per cent higher than last year, Singhvi said it reads so “only on paper”.
“This year the government has allocated 3.71 per cent of the total Budget outlay for the education sector. This is up from 3.65 per cent of total Budget outlay last year. However, there is a catch — in terms of percentange of GDP, the allocation has come down,” Singhvi said.
“Last year, the allocation for education sector was 0.49 per cent of GDP. This year, it is 0.47 per cent of GDP. So, it is actually down by 0.02 per cent of GDP,” he explained.
“In the year 2013-14, when the Congress-led UPA government presented its last Budget, the allocation for education sector was 4.57 of the total Budget outlay or 0.63 per cent of GDP. In 2014-15, the Modi government reduced it to 4.14 per cent of the total Budget or 0.55 pe rcent of GDP,” Singhvi said.
He said that in subsequent years, the budgetary allocation for education came down further.
“In 2015-16, the allocation was further reduced to 3.75 per cent of Budget or 0.5 per cent of GDP. In 2016-17, it came down to 3.65 per cent of total Budget or 0.49 per cent of GDP. So, there is a continuous decline in the budgetary allocation for the education sector,” he said.
Singhvi said that the present government is talking much about education but has been consistently cutting down the allocation for education.
He said that so far the government has nothing considerable to show under its “Swayam” and “Sankalp” schemes which it launched with much fanfare.
“All we get from this government is empty slogans, textbook terrorism and installing incompetent people to insitituitons of high repute such as Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) and Indian Film and Television Institute of India (FTII),” Singhvi said.