NEW DELHI, March 16 � The Union Budget came under the attack of the MPs from the North East, even as the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced Rs 500-crore pilot schemes in the 12th Plan for promotion and application of geo-textiles in the region.
Presenting the ninth Budget of the UPA Government, Mukherjee also proposed setting up of three Weavers Service Centres, one each in Mizoram, Nagaland and Jharkhand. The Ministry of Textiles runs Weavers Service Centres in different parts of the country for providing technical support to poor handloom weavers.
The Finance Minister�s 36-page Budget speech did not focus on any particular region, upsetting the MPs from the North East.
The outlay for Rasthtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana has been increased to Rs 9,217 crore from Rs 7860 crore in 2012-2013. The initiative for Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India has resulted in a significant increase in production and productivity of paddy. The allocation for the scheme has been hiked to Rs 1000 crore from Rs 400 crore. States in Eastern India have reported additional paddy production of seven million tonne in kharif, said Mukherjee.
The Finance Minister, however, skipped several vital projects like flood and erosion and allocation for the 10 national projects under Prime Minister�s Rail Vikas Yojana or the North Eastern Region Rail Development Fund.
A flood management project for Kandi sub-division of Murshidabad district in West Bengal has been approved by Ganga Flood Control Commission at a cost of Rs 439 crore. The project would be taken up under Flood Management Programme.
The plan outlay for flood management programme for the North Eastern region has been hiked from Rs 84.31 crore to Rs 150 crore. The budgetary allocation for Pagladiya dam project has been increased to Rs 10 crore from Rs 1 crore.
The outlay for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has witnessed a hike from Rs 1762.58 crore to Rs 1929.33 crore. The allocation of the flagship programme Non-Lapsable Pool of Central Resources has been pegged at Rs 880 crore � a marginal hike from Rs 805.78 crore.
The outlay of North Eastern Council (NEC) has been fixed at Rs 691 crore from the Rs 633 crore (2011-12). Allocation for NEDFi has been kept constant at Rs 60 crore.
Meanwhile, the Assam Gas Cracker Project has been given a hefty subsidy allocation of Rs 1376.30 crore, a hike from the previous allocation of Rs 824 crore. The provision of Rs 1552 crore, including Rs 175.70 crore, is for capital subsidy to the joint venture company Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymers Limited.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for DoNER, Paban Singh Ghatowar, describing it as a �good budget� said that the North East would benefit from the overall allocations made to various sectors, including agriculture and textile.
The allocation of Rs 1,000 crore under the Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India would also benefit the North East, Ghatowar explained.
Meanwhile, general secretary of the North East MPs� Forum, Biren Baishya termed the Budget as �anti-poor and anti-North East�. The Budget would increase regional imbalance, trigger inflation and hit the poor of the country, he said.
Kumar Deepak Das said no measures have been suggested to curb inflation.
BJP MP Rajen Gohain said Assam has been neglected in the Budget. It is shocking that despite the Prime Minister representing the State, Assam has been given a raw deal. Several of the agriculture universities have been given handsome allocations, but there is
nothing for those in the State.
Pankaj Bora of Congress said that Budget has been based on sound economic policy keeping pragmatic and realistic view of the country.