HP Budget nothing more than fudging of figures: HPCC

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Shimla, Mar 7 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) today termed the tax free Budget presented in the HP Assembly by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal as nothing more than ''fudging of figures'' which fails to take concreate steps to increase its income.

''The government has not made financial commitments to any special area or any particular section of the society and the new schemes announced are already ongoing central plans,'' party president Viplove Thakur said in a statement here.

She said all the new developmental schemes mentioned in the Chief Minister's Budget speech were ongoing central schemes and there was nothing new in the announcements.

The previous government had already initiated the process of recruiting teachers, doctors, para medical and other staff in the Horticulture Department and the State Assembly election schedule had not been advanced, it would have completed the process last year itself, Mr Thakur said.

The state unit of the CPM also termed the Budget as 'anti-people'', saying it had reduced the fertilizer subsidy from Rs 100 crore to Rs 90 crore for the next year.

State Committee Member Sanjay Chauhan said the Government in the garb of ''public private partnership'' was reducing funds allocation to Agriculture, Health, Education and other sectors.

The Himachal government has reduced budget allocation to social sectors to 34.08 per cent from a high of 43.66 per cent, vindicating their stand that the BJP government was concerned about the industrialists only and not the common man, he added.

Mr Chauhan said the Government's decision to allow ''contract farming'' and ''retail chains'' proved enough that the government was likely to withdraw from agricultural sector.

''This is likely to increase the distress of the farmers of the state.'' Referring to the government's failure to initiate steps to increase its income, he said no concreate steps had been announced to reduce the State's debt that had touched a staggering Rs 22,930 crore, he said.

The CPM leader said like all previous budgets presented in the State, no effort had been made this year as well to increase its debt situation.

UNI AS HS GT DB2009

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