Subsidy reduction will hurt: SAD MLAs | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Subsidy reduction will hurt: SAD MLAs

punjab Updated: Mar 17, 2012 13:40 IST
Surinder Maan

The Centre's proposal of cutting subsidies to 2% of the gross domestic product (GDP) has disappointed some of the Akali legislators.

Terming the budget "disappointing", Faridkot legislator Deep Malhotra apprehends this "freezing of subsidies" would not only adjust petroleum prices, as the Prime Minister had warned, but also take the prices of fertilisers up steeply.

The fertilisers are subsidised highly already. Every increase in the consumption or price of subsidised goods such as petrol and diesel will increase the cut in the subsidy on other items, including fertilisers.

"The budget offers nothing to farmers in Punjab who are deep in debt but it may increase in the input cost in agriculture," said Mantar Singh Brar, Shiromani Akali Dal legislator from Kotkapura.

"To promote the production of paddy in eastern states, the union budget has proposed to increase the allocation to Rs 1,000 crore (from Rs 600 crore) in the next fiscal but there's no incentive to the paddy growers of Punjab, who have used up their precious and scarce groundwater to feed the nation."

Not only farmers but all sections of society will feel the pinch of this budget, Brar has said. He refers to the increase in the service tax with consequential changes in rates for services that have individual tax rates.

"The Union government expects the increased ambit of service tax to yield an additional revenue of Rs 18,600 crore," said Deep Malhotra, "but as many routine services now are in the range, their increased cost will transfer the burden to no one else by common man, and make the formalities more cumbersome for service providers."