DR.T. SUMATHY(A)THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN (CHENNAI SOUTH):
Hon. Chairperson, Sir, I thank you profusely for giving me this opportunity to
make my maiden speech on the Finance Bill.
As a debut parliamentary Member from Chennai South Constituency, I
ascend from the land of Tamil Nadu, a land where the great Sangam poet,
Kaniyan Poongundranar, 2000 years ago transcended all the geographical
boundaries and declared ‘Yaadhum oore, yavarum kelir’ meaning the whole
world is my home and all human beings are my kith and kin.
I ascend from the land of social justice and equality wherein the great
poet Thiruvalluvar transcended, evened all the divisions in the society 2000
years ago and denounced the water tight Varnashrama Dharma and declared
‘Pirappokkum ella uyirkkum’ meaning all are equal by birth.
I am equally proud to state that I hail from the land of Dravidian
reformation and Tamil cultural renaissance pioneered by iconoclast rebel,
Thanthai Periyar, Dravidian Demosthenes Arignar Anna, founder leader of our
DMK Party Muttamizh Arignar Dr. Kalaignar, the legendary literary icon and the
phenomenonal political statesman for whom I am perennially indebted for my
Sir, I stand here cherishing the memory of my father, late Mr.
Thangapandian, and I want to place on record my sincere thanks to my Party
leader, Thalapati Mr. M.K. Stalin, for whose statesmanship, leadership and his
guidance, the Tamil Nadu people have given a solid mandatory support for
federalism and secularism. …(Interruptions). This is my maiden speech. I
have every right to give an elaborate introduction. I thank him for having
reposed faith and trust in me and for having allowed me to enter this portal for
which I am grateful to him …(Interruptions).
HON. CHAIRPERSON: This is her maiden speech. That is why, she is giving
DR. T. SUMATHY(A)THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN : Sir, here I am
reminded of Dadabhai Naoroji who in his maiden speech told that he was the
first Indian member to get elected to the British Parliament. He said that on
behalf of India, I thank the British people. On behalf of our Party, I thank the
Tamil Nadu people for their mandate for federalism and secularism.
The present Lok Sabha is vibrant with 78 women MPs and I humbly and
happily share the fact that I am the second woman MP to get elected from the
Chennai South Constituency after 28 years. It is a constituency which has
been represented by luminaries like Anna, Dravidian ideologist, Mr. Thiru
Murasoli Maran, our former President, Shri R. Venkataraman and the present
DMK Party leader, respected hon. Member, Shri T.R. Baalu. I thank my
constituency people and I promise them that I shall put my best foot forward.
At the outset, I would like to congratulate our first fulltime woman
Finance Minister, Shrimati Nirmala Seetharaman, for having presented her
maiden Budget. I am doubly happy to congratulate her as Thamizhachi –
Tamil woman –since she is the daughter of our soil.
Sir, I envisage the hon. President’s Address, hon. Prime Minister’s
speech, the Finance Minister’s Budget and the Finance Bill as a I square of
mirage. It is a mirage which has given the citizens a lot of promises and rosy
picture that all will be well with the vision and mission of 5 trillion dollar
economy by 2024-25.
During his last stint, our hon. Prime Minister had made a lot of promises
that all the black money would be brought back, ten crore jobs would be
generated, but alas, nothing concrete was done.
With the unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent trumpeting of a $5 trillion
economy by 2024 is a big farce. India’s major strength lies in its conventional
labour driven industries and its development depends mainly on the skilled
young manpower. But misadventures like demonetisation, badly handled GST,
devaluation of the rupee have created tremendous unemployment. The Budget
is actually a Fudget. I would term it as a Fudget and I will tell you why.
Table 2.5 of Statistical Appendix in Volume II of the Economy Survey
reveals that actual Net Tax Revenues in 2018-19 are provisionally estimated at
Rs. 13.16 lakh crore, but in the Budget, it has shown as increase of Rs. 14.84
lakh crore. That is why I term it as a Fudget and I term it as a Much Ado About
Sir, coming to the discussion on the Finance Bill, I am again here
reminded of the late Dadabhai Naoroji. He had given a very famous speech
titled as `India must be bled’, a title which he borrowed from Lord Salisbury. I
“As India must be bled”
These words were delivered by a Secretary of State for India, Lord
“Let us clearly understand what is meant by bleeding a nation. It is
perfectly true that when there is a Government, people must pay
taxes, but there is a great difference between taxing people and
Sir, through you, I would like to ask the Government – you
waive tax for corporates, you disinvest public sectors, you neither rebate
tax for middle class, common people nor waive farmer’s loan but
increase the tax thereby escalating the prices of petrol and diesel.
Doesn’t it make India bleed all the more?
If you still believe in what Gandhiji told — `the crux of the
nation lies in the welfare of the farmers’, then you would not have given
them just Rs. 6000, a pittance amount and leave them in the lurch. It is a
pittance amount. The greatest grouse, I record here, that the people of
Tamil Nadu still have is that our hon. Prime Minister has not visited the
Gaja cyclone-hit areas and has turned a cold shoulder to it.
Sir, I would like to refer to the increase in the gold prices. Is
it not making the country bleed? The hon. Finance Minister said that
there will be a shift from women-centric to women-lead India. If that is
true, then why has the import duty on gold been hiked from 10 per cent
to 12.5 per cent which would directly hit the middle-class Indian women?
Because even now the savings of Indian household is in gold. For
under-privileged section of women, for working class women even
making a Mangal-Sutra in gold has become a far-fetched dream now.
Does it not make India bleed all the more?
Sir, the Finance Bill, if I may use the term, is a poor cousin
of the Budget since it parrots the policies of the Government — a procorporate and an anti-common men Government with a thrust on
disinvestment which makes India bleed all the more.
They say the `destiny of the nation’ lies in the way it treats
its women, children, under-privileged section, physically challenged
people, writers, artists and above all the minorities. But there is lynching
and poaching. Does it not make India bleed all the more?
As a Vernacular poet I can see and sense disappointment
and despair. Plurality, regionalism, diversity, Federalism and Secularism,
everything has been tamed into one sloganeering of `One Nation, One
Election, one Ration Card and now one Grid’.
Sir, Robert Walpole, later Earl of Orford spoke on the House
of Lords Bill in 1719 and made this observation. I quote:
“Among the Romans, the wisest people upon earth, the Temple of
Fame was placed behind the Temple of Virtue, to denote that
there was no coming to the Temple of Fame but through that of
If this scenario continues, our virtues will be lost and India
will bleed all the more.
I have a few queries to be clarified. My South Chennai constituency
comprises a lot of fishermen populace. Till today, agriculture, fishery and
farming are not treated as industries in the real sense of the term, besides the
fact that they are destined to bear the brutal brunt of natural calamities like
cyclones, tsunami and depletion of resources.
The hon. Finance Minister has announced ‘Matsya Sampada Yojana’ as
part of the Blue Revolution with an aim to bring all fishermen under the
umbrella of farmers welfare programmes and assures to promote aqua culture
through easy access to credit. I quote from Money Control News. It says:
“A special Fisheries and Aqua Culture Infrastructure Development
Fund of Rs. 7522 crore has been allotted last year but this fund
will be used to attract private investment in creation and
management of fisheries infrastructure facilities.”
How will you expect an ordinary fisherman, son of the sea, who
sets out to the sea everyday, make his living with nil investment to get
HON. CHAIRPERSON : Please conclude now. Your allotted time is already
DR. T. SUMATHY(A)THAMIZHACHI THANGAPANDIAN : Sir, this is my
maiden speech. Please give me five more minutes.…(Interruptions)
This Yojana will not be for the benefit of the indigenous fishermen but for
the macro fishing industry magnets. Private investment is the key word here.
Chennai’s largest IT hub is in my constituency. In this era of
technological advancement, the paradigm shift is now on artificial intelligence.
What are the steps taken to sensitise this industry towards opportunities that
will open up due to 5G spectrum?
Sir, T. Nagar and Mylapore, the two Assembly constituencies, are the
most important cluster areas of MSME. The Finance Minister has just
reiterated the sanctioning of loans upto Rs. 1 crore in 59 minutes for GST
approved SME units. I appreciate it but the bankers are wary of disbursing the
loans accordingly. Could the Government furnish any data of the number of
loans actually distributed through this scheme?
Sir, there are major amendments in income tax and other direct taxes
domain, indirect taxes, GST, etc. Insertion of new provisos in Section 139
makes the following categories of persons also to file ITR irrespective of their
income. They are individuals spending more than Rs. 2 lakh on foreign travel
in a year and individuals spending more than Rs. 1 lakh on electricity in a year.
How is it possible? This is a country wherein joint family system is still
prevalent. How would a family with many members limit their electricity
expenses within Rs. 1 lakh a year?
There is a Tamil poem from the Sangam Literature, Nattrinai. It says:
“Maram Saa marundhum Kollar, Mandhar;
Uram chach seyyar, uyarthavam; valam kedap
Ponnum Kollar, Mannar Nannuthal!
Naam tham unmaiyin uzhame.”
The meaning of this poem is as follows: Generally, men of great stature
would not strip of the medicinal plants to that extreme of letting it to perish.
They would not do penance at the cost of their prowess to become weak.
Similarly, a good natured king would not burden his citizens with heavy taxes
leading them to poverty. The world survives since men of such stature never
With anguish and pain, I want to draw the attention of the hon. Minister
through you to the allocation of Rs. 50 crore to appoint Hindi teachers in the
non-Hindi speaking States which is a clear design to promote the Three
Language Formula, a pet theme of this Government. Here, I want to
emphatically state that the DMK Party and our leader, Thalapathy, Shri Stalin
upholds only the Two Language Formula. I would like to remind the statement
of our party founder leader, Perarignar Anna. He said:
“I have authorized three Legislative Laws in Tamil Nadu State
Assembly as its Chief Minister, namely, renaming the Madras
State as Tamil Nadu, endorsing legal sanctity to marriages without
religious customs and rituals and adhering only to the Two
Language Formula. And no one can dare either to scrap or do
change these laws!”
I would like to conclude with the lines of Shelly. He said: “I fall upon
the thorns of life! I bleed!” The Budget makes India bleed all the more.