Pension for MISA detenues, subsidised wheat for BPL families

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Bhopal, Feb 27 (UNI) Setting the target for the year-end Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government today announced distribution of subsidised foodgrain to all Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, a pension scheme for Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) detenues, relief in professional tax and other benefits to government employees and a slew of concessions aimed at farmers in the 2008-09 Budget presented by Finance Minister Raghavji in the Assembly.

While the tax concessions would cause revenue loss of about Rs 286 crore, marginal increase in tax on motor vehicles and bottling fees and export tax on liquor, spirit and beer were expected to mop up Rs 20.66 cr, Mr Raghavji said.

Presenting the budget for the fifth successive year, with occasional interruption from the opposition and a walkout by Samajwadi Party and Nationalist Congress Party members who termed the budget as ''anti-farmer'', the Minister said that Rs 160-cr allocation was made for distribution of wheat at Rs 3 per kg and rice at Rs 4.50 per kg to all BPL families.

Taking a cue from the BJP regime in adjoining Chhattisgarh, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government decided to distribute foodgrain at subsidised rate reducing the price of foodgrain by Rs 2 per kg, Mr Raghavji told reporters.

In an endeavour to treat MISA detenues at par with freedom fighters, the government announced pension of Rs 6,000 per month to all such persons detained during the Emergency for over six months and Rs 3,000 per month to those detained between three and six months. They would be provided medical facilities at par with freedom fighters.

Announcing sanction of 4 per cent additional Dearness Allowance from April and another instalment of 5 per cent DA later, the Minister said that the State Pay Commission would submit its report by December end.

He also announced reduction in Value Added Tax on diesel by 1 per cent to 25 per cent, exemption in tax on shoes with maximum retail price upto Rs 250 produced in the state, reduction in VAT from 12.5 per cent to 4 per cent on helmets, plywood, bulbs, earth-moving machines and battery-run two-wheelers.

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