Agartala, March 2 (IANS): Groups affiliated to Tripura's ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Tuesday organised demonstrations across the State to protest the "deprivation of the northeastern region" in the Union Budget unveiled the day earlier.
Frontal organisations of Left parties, including the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), organised protest rallies across the Left-ruled northeastern State.
"The Budget proposed to increase the allocation of special category states in India, but did not spell out the allocation of a specific state," Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury told reporters and said it had largely neglected the northeast region. Terming the Budget, presented in the Lok Sabha on Monday, "entirely anti-people", he said it had done "serious injustice to the Northeast region".
"No significant allocation was made for the infrastructure development of the industry-starved region, which is economically weak," Chowdhury told reporters.
"Inflation will rise, (there were) no measures (in the budget) to check price rise and poor people will suffer more. Foreign investment in different sectors specially in the financial segments would increase," the minister observed.
Besides the eight northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are designated as special category states and get special financial assistance from the central government and various monetary panels.
In the 2011-12 Budget, the allocation as special assistance has been almost doubled to Rs 8,000 crore. Of this, Rs 5,400 crore has been allocated as "untied Special Central Assistance".
Said CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar after an emergency party meeting: "Rates of subsidies in different sectors, including food grains, fertilisers and transport fuels, are being lowered and that would enormously affect the common man". "The Union Budget for the coming fiscal is only to crush the poor and to help the affluent people. The United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre wants to hand over the profit-making public sector undertakings only to damage these bodies," said Dhar, who is also a CPI-M central committee member.
The CPI-M leader accused the UPA government of not providing job opportunities for unemployed educated youths, farmers and poor people of the region in particular and country in general.