Himachal Pradesh budget 'directionless', says Congress
Himachal Pradesh Congress on Saturday termed the state budget presented by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur as "directionless", saying the government has failed to give relief to the people from rising inflation.
Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said the budget presented in the HP Assembly was a "half-baked document" in which false promises had been made to the people of the state.
"The state government presented a deficit budget in the assembly in which there is no mention of the total debt on the state and gap funding," he added.
Thakur presented his fourth budget in the HP Assembly on Saturday. He said the ₹50,192 crores budget for 2021-22 is ₹1,061 crore higher than ₹49,131 crore in the last fiscal despite the COVID-19 crisis.
Observing that it is unfortunate that the state government did not mention any of these points in the budget document, he said such things have not happened in the past.
Agnihotri said though the chief minister claimed to have presented a tax-free budget, there were chances that the government will impose taxes during the year to meet revenue deficit gap.
The document was also silent on loans or funding for the schemes that were announced in the budget, he said.
The leader of opposition accused the BJP government of not providing any relief to the people from rising inflation and said the government should have lowered VAT on petrol and diesel to ease the burden of price-rise.
Besides, the government should have provided subsidy on LPG gas cylinders as the people were bearing the brunt of rising prices, he said.
Agnihotri further stated that the state government had only refurbished the central government schemes in the budget and was giving false hopes to the people.
The leader of opposition also took on the government on the promise of filling 30,000 functional posts and said the decision would pave way for back-door entry in jobs in the state.
Agnihotri said,"The state government had made new false promises to the people of the state while it hadn't delivered on schemes that were announced in the last budget.
"The state has recorded negative growth but the chief minister has tried to lure people by presenting old schemes in a refurbished manner," he said, adding the budget was directionless and a half-baked document.
The leader of opposition added that the Congress will demand a white paper from the state government on fiscal health of the state as the government had indulged in financial mismanagement in its three-year tenure.
Lone Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA Rakesh Singha also termed the budget "fictional" and said the chief minister has made big announcements without any provision of funds.
Singha said there was complete mismatch between the Economic Survey and budget presented by the BJP government.
The budget is good at the micro level as the state government had announced to increase in wages of employees in various sectors but there is nothing on the macro level, he added.
Singha said, "It was also not clear where the government will source funds and how the deficit will be covered and from which scheme of the budget. It seems that the BJP government will resort to backdoor taxes on the people later."