HP Budget balanced and progressive, says state BJP chief

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Shimla, Mar 8 (UNI) The BJP today welcomed the 2008-09 Budget proposals presented in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal yesterday, saying the proposals were balanced and progressive, providing relief to all sections of the society.

The Budget proposals would provide succour to government employees, pensioners, farmers, horticulturists, women and educated unemployed, state party president Jai Ram Thakur said in a release here.

He said following the "ruinious" economic policies being pursued by the UPA Government at the Centre that fueled price rise, the state government had made a provision of Rs 90 crore to provide cheap ration to the ration card holders in the state.

The previous Congress Government had only spent a sum of Rs 18 crore on food subsidy as against the present government, which had earmarked a sum of Rs 70 crore for the purpose, Mr Thakur said.

He said the government's decision to increase finance allocation to health sector by 209 per cent would help in providing better health facilities to all people of the state, besides providing employment to 26,000 educated unemployed youth.

Accusing the previous Congress Government of failing to provide employment opportunities to the youth of the state, he alleged that wherever recruitment was done it was not transparent.

The BJP president said the setting up of three Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB) in the state would provide employment to 3,000 people, including 1,000 women at least.

"The government's overall functioning could be gauged from the fact that it has created 32,000 job opportunities in the last 70 days," he said.

"Despite all financial constraints the government has done well to announce succour to all sections of the society in the Budget proposals," Mr Thakur added.

UNI AS PS MMS1754

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