Former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Thursday described the states budget for year 2013-14,presented in the House by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as directionless and visionless even as the CII welcomed it for its vision of inclusive and sustainable development.
The budget has completely belied the hopes of the people,especially unemployed youths who were promised allowance. The skill development allowance will be given for only two years and is for youth in certain age group. Its a fraud on the educated unemployed youths, Dhumal said.
Talking to the media,Dhumal said the state budget doesnt talk about any railway expansion plans and is also silent on seeking or getting any major financial package from the Centre.
He said programmes such as polyhouse scheme,which gave a major boost to the agriculture sector with vegetable production touching Rs 2,250 crore,have not been given importance.
He said the budget talks about polytechnics being opened in five districts. The fact is that polytechnics have already been opened. Similar is the case of monkey sterilisation for which the BJP had proposed to open 25 centres, he added.
Meanwhile,state Congress chief,Sukhwinder Singh,hailed the budget as growth oriented and said it will accelerate the pace of all round development.
Similarly,chairman of CIIs Himachal Pradesh Council,Akash Garg,said the budgets focus on agriculture,education,skill development,health,industry ,IT and women empowerment is a welcome move. Setting up of state skill development council,Mahila Kalyan Board,Innovation Fund,Public Grievance Commissionerate,vision document on food processing and crop diversification programme will pave the way for inclusive and sustainable development of the state, he added.
Garg also complimented the efforts to provide a boost to the tourism sector by incentivising investments in backward areas by waiving away luxury tax for 10 years,skill training for guides,drivers and home stay owners and focus on water and adventure sports.
Vice-Chairman,CII Himachal Pradesh State Council,Arun Rawat,also welcomed the investor friendly steps like mechanism for time bound clearance of projects under Public Service Guarantee Act,concessional CST of one per cent for new investments and development of new industrial areas in Una,Solan & Kangra .
Tikender Panwar,CPMs member state secretariat termed the first budget of the Congress government as following in the footstep of previous BJP governments neo-liberalism regime.
As per the budget estimates,against an expenditure of every Rs 100,the state will earn Rs 81.31 in total revenue receipts,including transfers from the Centre. The gap of Rs 18.69 will have to be met by borrowings.
Out of every Rs 100 of state revenue receipts,Rs 30.35 will accrue from own tax revenues,Rs 13.52 from non-tax revenues,Rs 15.35 from share in central taxes and Rs 40.78 from central grants. Out of every Rs 100 spent,salaries will account for Rs 31.95,pensions for Rs 13.05,interest payments for Rs 11.17,loan repayments for Rs 7.87 and the remaining Rs 35.96 will be spent on developmental works including other activities.