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CM hails Pb budget as 'visionary', opposition dubs it as 'visionless'


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday hailed the 2020-21 state budget, which provided for, among others, the reduction of government's employees' service tenure by two years, as visionary while the Opposition dubbed it as visionless and directionless

The state budget presented by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in the assembly also provided for free education for all students up to class 12th, fund allocation for the 6thPay Commission and debt waiver for landless farmers, besides release of six per cent DA arrears for the government employees.
Chief Minister Singh said the budget promised substantial improvement in the lives of Punjabis over the next two years, with the fiscal situation now under control and the state's economy significantly better than what it was earlier.
"With his futuristic budget projections, the finance minister laid down a progressive roadmap that will chart the way for the state's holistic growth and development, with all sections of the society set to be benefitted," said Amarinder Singh in a statement here.
Lashing out at the Akalis for protesting outside Manpreet Badal's residence ahead of the Budget presentation in the assembly on Friday, Singh said their sole objective was to prevent his government from continuing its work for the welfare of the state and its people.
"The Akalis, who had been responsible for destroying the state's economy during 10 years of their misrule, had clearly wanted to divert the public attention from the progressive budget with these actions," he added.
Singh said "within three years, the state is back on track, and has reached a situation where there is no funding gap for the year 2020-21".
BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh, however, termed the budget as "nothing but a document of deceit and a U-turn on the promises made by the Congress party ahead of 2017 general elections.
Dubbing the budget as directionless and visionless, Chugh said the budget proposals have disappointed youth, homemakers, Dalits, farmers and other sections of the society.
It offers nothing to any section of the society, Chugh said in a statement.
Chugh sought to remind Finance Minister Badal of the promises made to the people of the state and said it would have been better, had he gone through the manifesto before trying to fool the people of the state for the fourth time in a row.
Akali leader and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia described the budget as a fraud on the people of Punjab.
In a statement here, Majithia said figures had been fudged to give a rosy picture even as Punjab was suffering due to inefficiency and mismanagement of the state's finances by the finance minister.
He said the FM had failed to implement any of the promises made to the people of the state.
The Aam Aadmi Party dubbed the budget as anti-people and anti-state.
Leader of the Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema said Finance Minister Badal had presented a hollow budget with the "state coffers being empty, yet more".
Badal was the first state finance minister in the country who has given four flop budgets, beating his own previous records.
Cheema said the financial health of the state has gone from bad to worse, adding that the cash-strapped state was under debit of a whopping Rs 2.28 lakh crore, which was likely to touch Rs 2.48 lakh crore during 2020-21.
Rebel Akali leader and former Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, who is a member of the assembly, described the budget as "fraud with people" of the state, saying nothing has been done for the welfare of people.

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First Published: Feb 28 2020 | 9:56 PM IST

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