MP Budget evokes mixed reactions

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Bhopal, Feb 27 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party's Madhya Pradesh unit today described the state's 2008-09 Budget, presented by Finance Minister Raghavji in the Assembly, as public interest-oriented and developmental while the opposition denounced it as anti-poor and anti-farmer.

''The proposed formation of a pay commission is actually a conspiracy to deprive employees of the Centre's proposed pay scale,'' said Leader of the Opposition Jamuna Devi in the Assembly.

BJP state President Narendra Singh Tomar said the provision for Rs 3 per kg wheat and Rs 4.50 per kg rice, to Below Poverty Line families was a relief provider. The government ''reiterated'' that irrigation, agriculture, roads and power were its commitments.

Describing the Budget as disappointing, Congress General Secretary and former chief minister Digvijay Singh said it was reliant on an expected enhanced central grant exceeding Rs 10,000 crore.

''There was no provision for announcements made by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during a recent Kisan Mahapanchayat,'' he added. Reacting to the announcement of pension for Maintenance of Internal Security Act detenues, Mr Singh felt that those involved in criminal activities and those freed from prison after tendering written apologies should be kept out of the pension's purview.

Samajwadi Party MLA Sunilam said the Budget contained no provision for employment generation.

UNI AG-KV-AC AE VC1825

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