Opposition walks out as budget presented in Punjab assembly

Terming the budget as “directionless” and a “sham”, the opposition leaders said that the ruling Congress had failed to deliver on its promises, including a total loan waiver for farmers and jobs for youth.

punjab Updated: Mar 24, 2018 15:41 IST
Indo-Asian News Service, Chandigarh
Manpreet badal,Punjab budget,Punjab assembly
Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (left) Aam Aadmi Party legislators raising slogans as they stage walkout from Punjab assembly during presentation of annual budget in Chandigarh on Saturday.(HT Photos)

The opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out from the Punjab assembly as finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal presented a Rs 129,698 crore budget for 2018-19 on Saturday. (Read the budget highlights here)

Terming the budget as “directionless” and a “sham”, the opposition leaders said that the ruling Congress had failed to deliver on its promises, including a total loan waiver for farmers and jobs for youth.

Badal, while pointing out that the effort of the present government was towards fiscal consolidation, presented budget proposals of over Rs 86,351 crore for the year 2018-19.

He announced new tax of of Rs 200 per month called the Punjab Development Tax.

Debt-ridden Punjab’s financial miseries have clearly increased. The state’s outstanding debt is expected to rise to a whopping Rs 211,523 crore against the dent of Rs 195,978 crore for the outgoing financial year.

Badal proposed an amount of Rs 4,250 crore for the coming financial year for the farm loan waiver scheme of farmers.

Former finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said Badal had manipulated and suppressed the budget figures.

The Congress government, led by chief minister Amarinder Singh, came to power in March last year following a big win in the Assembly elections.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 15:40 IST