Uttarakhand CM hails Union Budget, says it to boost state’s industry, health sectors | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand CM hails Union Budget, says it to boost state’s industry, health sectors

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat hailed the union budget presented in parliament on Thursday describing it as being in line with the “pro-poor and pro-farmer schemes” launched by his government

dehradun Updated: Feb 01, 2018 21:39 IST
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Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley with Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla arrives at Parliament House to present the Union Budget 2018-19 in New Delhi on Thursday.
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley with Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla arrives at Parliament House to present the Union Budget 2018-19 in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat hailed the union budget presented in parliament on Thursday describing it as being in line with the “pro-poor and pro-farmer schemes” launched by his government.

“It was an excellent budget on expected lines as we had already stated that it would have a lot to offer for farmers and the poor,” Rawat told reporters praising both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union finance minister Arun Jaitley for their “pro-poor” concerns.

“Most public welfare schemes announced in the budget had already been launched by us in the past one year,” he said.

For instance, cluster-based farming scheme announced in the union budget had already been launched by the state’s BJP government.

“Similarly, the health scheme announced (in the budget), under which 10 crore families (and 50 crore people) will be covered, is also in line with our concept,” Rawat said referring to the “health insurance scheme for all citizens” he announced recently.

Finance minister Prakash Pant listed “10 major benefits that will accrue” to the hill state owing to the schemes announced in the union budget.

“It is an investor-friendly budget as it promises to offer financial assistance to industrialists who had set up their units in the state by March 2017,” he said, adding that it would also boost the medium, small, micro enterprises (MSME) sector.

“As per the budget, MSMEs with an annual turnover of ₹25 crore each will be entitled to 25% financial assistance on the capital subsidy,” Pant said, adding that similarly, MSMEs with ₹250 crore annual turnover would also get financial assistance, if their owners would file their tax returns on time.

“Besides, as per the announcement made in the union budget, the number of seats for post-graduation courses in all state-run medical colleges will also increase,” he said.

The other announcement in the union budget, which aimed to boost the Himalayan cultural heritage would “also benefit” the mountain state.

“Besides, ₹4,200 crore have been allocated for the state for 24 schemes under the centrally funded clean Ganga project,” Pant said, adding that the state would also get central funds for developing science cities.

The chief minister said the target set by the prime minister to establish a medical college for three Lok Sabha seats each across the country would also boost the health services across the state.

“The prime minister has stopped the practice of announcing such allocations in the Union budget, which could also be made in the normal course,” he said reacting to a query that no new rail projects had been announced in the union budget.

Rawat also termed as a “major achievement”, the Centre’s decision to increase the amount of the Employees’ Provident Fund by 12% in its budget.

The state would also be “hugely benefited” by the allocations made by the Centre in the Union budget under its Bharat Mala project for building border roads.

“As it is, the Centre has sanctioned ₹13,000 crore for roads to be aligned in the (frontier areas of the state touching the India-China border),” Rawat said.

CONGRESS DUBS BUDGET ‘USELESS’

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress dubbed the Union Budget as a ‘useless’ Budget. Surendra Kumar, spokesperson of the former chief minister Harish Rawat said the budget has nothing for the Himalayan states and particularly for Uttarakhand. Kumar demanded that the five Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs from Uttarakhand resign for failing to work for the “benefit of the state”.