Budget sidelines hopes of common man: CM Virbhadra Singh

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Feb 28, 2015 21:15 IST

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday criticised the union budget, saying it completely sidelined the hopes and aspirations of the common man.

Though the Centre has allocated more funds to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), but disappointed the common man on many fronts, the chief minister said.

He, however, welcomed the Centre's announcement of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the state.

"The Centre allocated more funds for the MNREGA which is a flagship scheme of the previous UPA government," he said. The chief minister said the budget was neither populist nor growth-oriented and failed to create an impact on the masses.

"It was a budget of hollow promises and the call given for 'houses for all' is a distant dream," he said. Singh also flayed the Centre for decreasing corporate tax from 30% to 25%. He said the Centre would provide `8,000 crore benefits to the corporate houses.

Terming it as a "totally disappointing budget", he said it was the budget of mere promises and commitments in which interests of the common man had been completely ignored.

The Centre has imposed additional taxes of Rs 22,000 crore which would be a heavy burden on common man, he said. The chief minister said the rise in service tax from 12.36% to 14% will lead to increase in prices of commodities. Raising the education cess would also pinch the pockets of people, he said.

"The income groups were hoping for an increase in income tax slab, but it totally remained untouched, forcing the middle and salaried class to save less as the household financial savings," he added.

Singh said it would have been better to include Tabo Monastery or some other ancient monuments of Himachal Pradesh in the world heritage site or funds were given to improve the existing archaeological sites. There was also no mention of improvising tourism activities in the state.

He said the government was proposing a huge cut in the Central schemes and the actual impact on Himachal Pradesh would be known when the full budget documents were pursued.

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