Union budget evokes positive reactions in Arunachal

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Itanagar, Mar 01 (UNI) The BJP in Arunachal Pradesh has termed the Union Budget for 2008-09 as 'anti-North East and poll-friendly' while a cross section of the people welcomed it.

Water Resource Development Minister and state government spokesman Tako Dabi while terming the budget as 'poor-oriented', said it had covered all sections of the society uniformly and taken utmost care for the middle class.

''The complete loan waiver for small and marginal farmers would be a moral booster for the farmers and the concern for them in the budget 2008-09 is a clear indication that the UPA government is targeting a second green revolution in the country,'' Mr Dabi said.

He said the budget would benefit Arunachal Pradesh from all angles.

But the opposition BJP termed the budget as 'anti-NE and poll friendly' adding that it did not reflect the priorities mentioned in the President's address on the north eastern states with no special package therein.

There was nothing to be overwhelmed by the Budget on which people of Arunachal Pradesh have banked upon with high expectations for focused attention and time bound infrastructural packages, specific to the strategic and sensitive Sino-India international border areas at par with the fast build-ups taking place on the other side of the border, the party lamented.

''Inhuman exploitations of the poor farmers and 'aam aadmi' at the hands of private money lenders did not buy any attention in the budget which also overlooked sustainability measures of reduced interest rates guarantee on the bank loans and minimum support prices of the farmers' produce although making provision of waiving loans,'' the party said.

The farm income guarantee insurance scheme introduced during BJP led NDA government should be implemented for the well being of the farmers covering the two critical components of the farmers' income, the party added.

Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University K C Belliappa said the increase in allocation to DoNER ministry was a positive development for North East and the Budget 2008-09 had well taken care of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) president Lala Techi and General Secretary Tarh Nachung termed the budget as 'extra-ordinary'.

''More concentration could be given for North East development in the Union Budget in areas such as infrastructure development,'' Lala commented.

Terming it as 'development and welfare' budget, Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) Member Secretary Mamta Riba said the Union Budget had taken proper care of women, health and education sectors.

Former vice-president of ACCI B K Ghosh Dostidar said the budget was a pro-publicity for the upcoming elections.

''The Value Added Tax (VAT) slab should have been reduced in the budget in order to benefit the people of North East,'' he felt and added that income tax rebate would help middle class people having justified income and there was no benefit for traders and consumers of the region. UNI UPB PL SS1205

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