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Thakur hails Union Budget, Oppn says Himachal ignored

Thakur said that Himachal will benefit from the increase of 137 per cent in the health budget and focus on infrastructure and employment generation.

By: Express News Service | Shimla |
February 1, 2021 8:35:16 pm
Himachal Pradesh assembly, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Himachal Pradesh government, himachal pradesh governor, Bandaru Dattatraya, himachal pradesh congress, himachal pradesh news, india news, indian expressHimachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur (File)

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who also holds the finance portfolio, Monday welcomed the Union Budget 2021-22 saying that its focus on health, infrastructure, inclusive development, human capital, innovation, good governance and various new initiatives will benefit the country as well as the state.

“The Himachal government will consider doing something about budget scheme to set up mega textile parks in India. I also welcome the special emphasis on nutrition and on 112 aspirational districts in the country, which include the district of Chamba here,” he said.

Thakur said that Himachal will benefit from the increase of 137 per cent in the health budget and focus on infrastructure and employment generation. He also welcomed the voluntary vehicle scrapping policy, the Jal Jeevan Mission (urban), setting up of new sainik schools, promotion of digital payments, portal for migrant workers, and the introduction of an agriculture cess.

Urban development minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that an increase of over Rs 4,000 crore in the allocation for the department of housing and urban affairs will increase the flow of funds to the states. He said that the Himachal government has launched a campaign to promote waste segregation at source, and the fresh allocations under Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will help the state in this campaign.

State BJP president Suresh Kashyap said that the budget has been prepared keeping in mind all sections of the society.

Baddi-Baroti-Nalagarh Industries Association President Sanjay Khurana said that the Budget has proposed some bold developmental reforms such as the creation of a development financial institution for infrastructure projects.

Himachal ignored: Congress, CPI(M)

Opposition Congress said that the budget offered no new scheme for Himachal Pradesh and is an “injustice” to the state. “It has been prepared keeping in mind those states where elections are due this year. The last budget spoke at length about national highways and railways in the state, but these plans find no mention this time,” said state Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore.

He said that the state is reeling under mounting debts and the Covid pandemic has adversely affected the tourism industry as well as small and micro industries in the state. “But the state government has failed to secure adequate financial assistance from the Centre. We were hoping that the budget will provide a huge relief to Himachal, especially the farmers and horticulturists, but no such thing happened. Even the rail budget has been disappointing,” he said.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said that Himachal has been ignored in the budget and nothing has been spoken about railways and 69 national highways announced during the 2017 assembly elections. “Horticulture has been totally ignored and nothing has been done to increase import duty on apples. There is also no mention of minimum support price for fruits and vegetables grown in the state,” the party said in a statement.

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