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Cong, INLD dub budget as 'directionless', express concern over debt


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Opposition parties the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal on Monday dubbed the Haryana budget presented by Finance Minister Abhimanyu as "directionless" and expressed concern over the "mounting debt".
"This budget is directionless, hollow and mere jugglery of figures. No new project has been announced," former chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said.
Hooda expressed concern over debt, saying total outstanding debt of the state has been projected at nearly Rs 1.79 lakh crore.
"During our time, nearly five years back, the outstanding debt was just over Rs 60,000 crore," he said.
"What have they done for the past four-and-a-half years, they have not brought any new railway or metro line, any big project, investments have not come. All that the BJP government in the state has done is event management and boasted its non-existent achievements. It is a non-performing government, which has failed on all fronts," Hooda alleged.
When asked to comment on Haryana proposing new schemes to provide financial and social security cover to families of cultivating farmers and those of workers in the unorganised sector, Hooda told reporters that no one knows contours of these schemes.
"No one knows who will be benefitted from these schemes, which come at fag end of their tenure. This government claims to be pro-farmer, but allocations for agriculture are meager," he claimed.
Summing up the budget presented by the finance minister, Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala said "it is a catalogue of mounting debts and diminishing capital expenditure".
"According to the revised budget estimates for the year 2018-2019, the debt was Rs 1.61 lakh crore, which has has now risen to Rs 1.80 lakh crore, marking an increase of about Rs 19,000 crore.
"Thus the accumulated debt during the term of this BJP government has risen to Rs 1.09 lakh crore. As a result of this, the state has reached that stage of bankruptcy where it borrows money from various sources so as to pay the interest on the earlier loans and some principal amount," said senior INLD leader Chautala.
He claimed that the budgetary allocation for the agriculture sector has exposed the "hollow" claims of the BJP about being farmer friendly.
"From last year's allocation of 12.22 per cent share for this sector, the current budget has reduced it to 10.31 per cent," Chautala claimed.
"The budget also reduced the subsidies for various sectors like power and transportation. While the power subsidy has been reduced to 4.63 per cent from 5.87 per cent, the transport subsidy has been reduced from 4.73 per cent to 4.12 per cent. Similarly, vital sectors like education, health and social welfare have faced reductions," he said in a statement.
He alleged that the budget was a reflection of the overall failure of the economy under the BJP, leaving the government to cover up the failures by making false claims and hollow words.

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First Published: Feb 25 2019 | 8:55 PM IST

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