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Poll-oriented Budget, says Opp; Pro-development, asserts CM

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 15 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi described the Budget he presented today in the State Assembly as a pro-development Budget. It is drafted to ensure accelerated growth of the State�s economy, he claimed while talking to the media persons after presenting the Budget.

However, the Opposition described the Budget as election-oriented. It has been drafted with an eye on the ensuing State Assembly elections, they said.

The Chief Minister said that the Budget was so drafted that it would ensure rural development. The growth of the rural folk is the real growth for a society like the one in Assam. He reasoned that majority of the people live in villages and this provided the driving spirit to shape the Budget with the main thrust on the development of the village people.

�We are charting a way to move forward�, he said.

The Opposition today said that the Budget has been prepared keeping in view the 2011 election of the State Assembly. They described it as an anti-people, anti-villager and anti-unemployed Budget.

Addressing a joint press conference, Chandra Mohan Patowary (AGP), Ranjit Dutta (BJP), Ananta Deka (CPM) and Dr Aditya Langthasa (AUDF) alleged that the two per cent agricultural growth pledged by the Congress in 2001 has not been reflected so far. No specific measure has been spelled out for the development of this sector except the mention of distribution of power tillers and tractors. Poor farmers have nothing to do with all such costly tools.

Except the mention of Ratan Tata�s name, no step for industrial development has been proposed in the Budget. On the other hand, the development human resources has also been ignored. The Budget has mentioned only one time assistance of Rs 400 crore to the venture educational institutions and appointment of three teachers in each of the schools on contract basis. This has failed to project as to how the Government expects development in this area, they said.

Moreover, the public-private partnership mode has been encouraged in setting up new institutes of higher and technical education, which is an indication of the Government�s attitude towards privatization of the education sector, the Opposition leaders alleged.

The Opposition leaders said that there is no proposal for rehabilitation of the flood and erosion affected people. They also questioned the justification for reserving only 30 percent jobs for the rural people who constitute 80 percent of the State�s population. There is nothing specific on price control and it is silent on extending subsidy to mitigate the phenomenon of price rise, they alleged.

The Opposition further alleged that the Rs 6500 crore RBI deposits being utilized to minimize Budget deficit is, in fact, a reflection of the Government�s inability to spend the Central grants in 2008-09 financial year.

They alleged that there is no proposal to universalize the PDS system as per the Supreme Court verdict. The Government is also deceiving the unemployed youths with allurement of employment when a good number of posts have already been abolished. The new pension scheme announced by the Government has made 50 percent contribution from employees mandatory and there is scope to doubt that the entire fund will be made open to the market players.

The Opposition further stated that problems like flood and erosion and the problems facing the power sector, while, there is no scheme for development of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes people.

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Poll-oriented Budget, says Opp; Pro-development, asserts CM

GUWAHATI, March 15 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi described the Budget he presented today in the State Assembly as a pro-development Budget. It is drafted to ensure accelerated growth of the State�s economy, he claimed while talking to the media persons after presenting the Budget.

However, the Opposition described the Budget as election-oriented. It has been drafted with an eye on the ensuing State Assembly elections, they said.

The Chief Minister said that the Budget was so drafted that it would ensure rural development. The growth of the rural folk is the real growth for a society like the one in Assam. He reasoned that majority of the people live in villages and this provided the driving spirit to shape the Budget with the main thrust on the development of the village people.

�We are charting a way to move forward�, he said.

The Opposition today said that the Budget has been prepared keeping in view the 2011 election of the State Assembly. They described it as an anti-people, anti-villager and anti-unemployed Budget.

Addressing a joint press conference, Chandra Mohan Patowary (AGP), Ranjit Dutta (BJP), Ananta Deka (CPM) and Dr Aditya Langthasa (AUDF) alleged that the two per cent agricultural growth pledged by the Congress in 2001 has not been reflected so far. No specific measure has been spelled out for the development of this sector except the mention of distribution of power tillers and tractors. Poor farmers have nothing to do with all such costly tools.

Except the mention of Ratan Tata�s name, no step for industrial development has been proposed in the Budget. On the other hand, the development human resources has also been ignored. The Budget has mentioned only one time assistance of Rs 400 crore to the venture educational institutions and appointment of three teachers in each of the schools on contract basis. This has failed to project as to how the Government expects development in this area, they said.

Moreover, the public-private partnership mode has been encouraged in setting up new institutes of higher and technical education, which is an indication of the Government�s attitude towards privatization of the education sector, the Opposition leaders alleged.

The Opposition leaders said that there is no proposal for rehabilitation of the flood and erosion affected people. They also questioned the justification for reserving only 30 percent jobs for the rural people who constitute 80 percent of the State�s population. There is nothing specific on price control and it is silent on extending subsidy to mitigate the phenomenon of price rise, they alleged.

The Opposition further alleged that the Rs 6500 crore RBI deposits being utilized to minimize Budget deficit is, in fact, a reflection of the Government�s inability to spend the Central grants in 2008-09 financial year.

They alleged that there is no proposal to universalize the PDS system as per the Supreme Court verdict. The Government is also deceiving the unemployed youths with allurement of employment when a good number of posts have already been abolished. The new pension scheme announced by the Government has made 50 percent contribution from employees mandatory and there is scope to doubt that the entire fund will be made open to the market players.

The Opposition further stated that problems like flood and erosion and the problems facing the power sector, while, there is no scheme for development of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes people.

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