Dhumal calls Budget 'anti hilly states'

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Shimla, Feb 29 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has termed the Union Budget Proposals for the year 2008-09 as anti poor, anti-employee, anti-exservicemen and anti hilly states.

Reacting to the Union Budget Proposals for the next financial year he said that although it was the last budget of the UPA Government but all expectations of the people, especially of hilly people had been ignored.

He said that the state had already been ignored in the Railway Budget and the same trend continued in the General Budget of the Union Government.

The Chief Minister said the Union Finance Minister did not honour even the announcements he made on behalf of the Prime Minister himself on October 2, 2007, on launch of the Aam Admi Bima Yojna to open IIT, Central University in the state.

He said that the state had raised issue of bringing apple produce and citrus fruits under the fold of crop insurance, but the budget speech had no mention to the same. Mr Dhumal said that state had demanded permission under the Constitutional provisions to levy generation tax for hydro power generation for long term exploitation of the natural wealth of the state, although the same had been recommended by Shri Pranab Mukherjee Committee, but the same had been ignored in the budget.

He added the Election Manifesto of the Congress Party had assured the ex-servicemen of the state One Rank One Pension, but the same had not been considered so far. He said that the age of senior citizens was likely to be reduced from 65 years to 60 years but the budget proposals were silent over the same.

UNI XC PS VN1750

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