MP CM says Budget will make state 'aatmanirbhar', Kamal Nath hits back
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday described the state's budget for 2021-22 as one aiming at making Madhya Pradesh "Atmanirbhar".
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Kamal Nath, on the other hand, said it provided no relief from high fuel prices, nor did it make any concrete provisions for industry reeling under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Finance Minister Jagdish Devda presented a budget of ₹2.41 lakh crore for 2021-22 in the Assembly with no additional tax burden earlier in the day.
Before finalizing the budget document, the government had invited suggestions from experts by organizing a webinar "to prepare a roadmap for making the state Atmanirbhar (self- reliant)," Chouhan told reporters.
"It is based on four pillars -- development of physical infrastructure, health and education, economy and employment and good governance," he said.
These four "missions" will be implemented on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to make the country self-reliant, he said.
For infrastructure the budget has made a provision of ₹44,152 crore, ₹40,958 crore has been allocated for providing quality education at government schools and nine new government medical colleges will also be set up, he said.
"The nal-jal (tap water) scheme (for which funds have been allocated) is historic and will be a major boon for women," the chief minister said.
Chouhan also noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, GDP of the state fell by only 2.12 per cent, much less than the expected 7-8 per cent decrease.
"We have managed to restrict it (the fall) and compared to last year, we have enhanced budgetary provisions by 22 per cent," he said.
Amid the pandemic, his government provided adequate assistance to farmers and those schemes will continue, the chief minister said.
State Congress chief Kamal Nath termed the budget as "a bundle of lies". It was directionless and did not provide any relief from the skyrocketing fuel prices by reducing VAT and did not extend the agriculture loan waiver scheme, he said.
"No relaxation has been given in the registration fee and there is no solid action-plan for generating employment," Nath said.
There were no concrete provisions for health and education sectors, not was there any budgetary provision for measures to curb crime against women, he claimed.
There was nothing for reviving the economy by providing relief to the industries and businesses, the Congress leader claimed.