GUWAHATI, March 6 - Opposition Congress today denounced the State Budget 2020-21 calling it election-oriented announcements hardly linked to productivity and overall growth of the State.
Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia said that most of the schemes announced by the government are aimed at creating multiple beneficiaries, conveniently ignoring the major concern areas.
On behalf of the Assam Congress Legislature Party, Saikia also demanded an inquiry by an all-party House Committee into the alleged leakage of the Budget and the said committee should be empowered to recommend measures against those found responsible for this lapse.
�Finance Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma started his Budget speech today by referring to certain purportedly unprecedented achievements, but his most unprecedented achievement today was leakage of the Budget hours before it was actually tabled in the House.
The State government is now engaging in a damage-control exercise, but the question has arisen as to how much confidence people can repose in a government which cannot protect the secrecy of such an important document,� he added.
�The Chief Minister, who was present in the House today, did not attach any importance to this serious issue,� he added.
Saikia also rapped the government for deviating from its poll promise of generating 5 lakh employment every year. �Though the government has spent a lot on skill development, practically it has not helped in employment generation. At least 80 per cent of the trained people must be given placement. We have been asking for data in this regard. Mere training without gainful employment won�t serve the purpose,� Saikia told The Assam Tribune.
Asom Gana Parishad leader Ramen Kalita, reacting to the Budget, said that it would go a long way in benefitting the lower middle income group and would also help in poverty alleviation. �It�s a growth-oriented Budget, targeting inclusive development,� he added.
AIUDF MLA Hafiz Rafikul Islam said that the announcements in the Budget on items like rice, pulses, etc., sounded more like relief operations in the wake of disaster rather than a well planned strategy to ensure development. It also tried to copy the Aam Admi Party strategy by waiving the electricity charges up to 30 units. At least 100 units should have been made free if the government really wanted to help poor consumers,� he mentioned.