Coalition's budget nothing but ''fudging of figures'': Opposition

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Jammu, Jan 16 (UNI) Expressing their dissatisfaction, the Opposition parties in Jammu and Kashmir today termed the ''zero deficit'' Budget presented by the state government as ''nothing but a fudging of figures''.

Talking to the reporters after Finance Minister Tariq Hameed Karra tabled the last budget of coalition government, Opposition leader A R Rather said the financial plan was ''totally unrealistic, presumptive, anti-farmer, anti-worker and anti-unemployed youths.'' The government has projected total expenditure for the next financial year 2008-09 at Rs 18,443 crore with the Finance Minister proposing reforms and measures to boost sectors like small-scale industries, tourism and transport besides power.

''The Budget was on the expected lines. As usual, the income of the state has been shown more and the expenditure of revenue has been shown less,'' said Mr Rather, a former finance minister himself.

He alleged that the coalition government was suffering from a ''zero deficit syndrome''.

He wondered how the state could have a zero-deficit budget when bills worth over Rs 500 crore were pending in the government treasuries.

'Why the government cannot pay salaries on time and why no GP (General Provident) fund and other dues to the employees, if it's a zero deficit budget,'' said the Opposition leader.

Mr Rather also pointed out that the Finance Minister had not touched the issues of unemployment and agriculture in his budget speech.

On the Finance Minister's statement that state expenditure may cross Rs 87,000 crore by next year, he asked the government to tell ''what physical targets have been achieved by the government.'' The hour-long speech by the Finance Minister was also dotted by the walkout by Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party MLAs Harsh Dev Singh, Balwat Singh Mankotia and Faqir Nath.

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