March 6, 2020 9:24:17 pm
The Opposition Congress termed the Budget presented by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur as lacking vision and with no provision for additional resource mobilisation. It also accused Thakur of playing with figures and paying more attention to his home district in the Budget, which the ruling BJP described as people-friendly and development-oriented.
Talking to reporters after the budget was presented by chief minister in the state assembly, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said Thakur has merely played with figures and failed to present any solid welfare scheme. He said that the Centre has turned down various proposals of financial incentives or assistance to the state.
Agnihotri said that the Budget speech made no mention of Rs 10,300 crore foreign funding announced last year and the state is reeling under a debt crisis. “The government is borrowing money on a frequent basis. Even a day before the Budget, they took a loan of Rs 768 crore,” he said, alleging that the current debt of the state government is to the tune of Rs 66,000 crore.
Agnihotri said that the announcement of creation of 20,000 new posts was made last year, too, and the provision of Rs 1,013 crore for airport expansion and construction suggests that the state failed to get funds from the Centre for these projects.
Agnihotri also alleged that the chief minister paid more attention to the development of his home district Mandi by earmarking a huge amount for acquisition of land for the proposed airport in Mandi.
Himachal Congress president Kuldeep Rathore and party incharge Rajni Patil also flayed the budget terming it as “directionless”. The Budget provides no relief to any section of the society, said Rathore.
CPI(M) MLA Rakesh Singha said that the Budget violates basic principles of a financial statement as numerous old schemes have been included in it.
State BJP chief Rajeev Bindal, however, congratulated the chief minister for taking care of all sections of the society in the budget.
“The Budget will give new wings to the development as 10,000 quality houses with tap water and electricity connections will be provided to the poor and the SCs in 2020-21,” he said.
Bindal said several new schemes were included in the budget to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income. The BJP state chief claimed the budget would prove to be a new chapter in the development of the state and it would take the state to new heights under the dynamic leadership of the chief minister.
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