Is U’khand budget old wine in new bottle? Congress says so

The Congress on Friday accused the state’s BJP government of presenting a “cut--copy-paste budget” by just renaming many schemes launched during its rule

dehradun Updated: Jun 09, 2017 19:37 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,budget,Harish Rawat
Congress leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat says the budget “lacks originality”.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

The Congress on Friday accused the BJP government in Uttarakhand of presenting a “cut--copy-paste budget” by just renaming many schemes launched during its rule.

The BJP government’s maiden budget “lacks originality”, former chief minister Harish Rawat said.

“It is nothing but a cut-copy-paste budget… they (the BJP) have copied many of our old projects and have chosen to relaunch them with new names,” Rawat told HT over phone from Haridwar.

The ruling party, however, rejected the allegation. “They (the Congress government) only believed in making announcements and hardly executed anything,” said Madan Kauhshik, a cabinet minister and government spokesperson.

The former chief minister asserted that his government’s pet project - the Mukhyamantri Swasthya Beema Yojana that promised health cover of up to ₹1.75 lakh per family - has been “reintroduced” as Mukhyamantri Swasthya Kalyan Card Yojana with some changes.

“We wish them well (for the schemes’ execution) but the budget clearly shows how the BJP lacks its own vision for the hill state,” he said.

Some of the BJP government’s other budgetary plans which the Congress claims have been “out rightly lifted or inspired” from its erstwhile government include a decision to come up with residential schools and hostels in hill areas, distribution of free laptops and smart phones to meritorious students, Wi-Fi in universities, hostels for working women, modernisation of madrasas and plans to introduce air ambulance.

Congress state unit president Pritam Singh said: “We (the erstwhile Congress govt) had taken a number of steps to curb migration from the hills… this (BJP) government’s budget is all talk and no action.”

Party spokesperson Manish Karnawal alleged that a close look at the budget exhibited how “several plans announced by the government were ones that had been carried over” from the Harish Rawat government.

“It clearly vindicates our (Congress’) stand and proves that those (schemes) were pro-people and that’s the reason they’ve been taken forward by the BJP regime, either with a new name or some changes here and there,” he said.

In his first reaction after the budget was tabled in the assembly on Thursday, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said his government laid the foundation for rise of a new Uttarakhand by focusing on TASK -- (T)ourism and (A)griculture, (S)kill and (K)nowledge.

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 19:37 IST