Budget to give new direction to HP: Dhumal

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Shimla, Mar 13 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today claimed that the state government had tried to give a new direction to the hill state by focusing on the significant areas in the budget proposals for 2008-2009.

Replying to the three-day discussion on budget proposals for 2008-2009 in the state Assembly, Mr Dhumal strongly rebutted the contention of Leader of Opposition Vidya Stokes that the BJP government has come out with a ''directionless budget'' saying that the government did not believe in misleading the people by hiding facts.

He said it would have been better had the Leader of Opposition compared the budget proposals of 2008-09 with those presented by the previous Congress government.

''The BJP's direction is development. The people of Himachal know it very well. That is why they have thrown the Congress out of power,'' he said.

Mr Dhumal addressed various issues raised by different members, backing his 75-minute-speech with facts and figures, as well as couplets to make it more lively, as he squarely blamed the Congress governments in the past for starting the trend of borrowings to run the state.

The Chief Minister came down heavily on the previous Congress government for misleading the public by mentioning that the state had been sanctioned Rs 3,898 crore under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) for Shimla.

He said in reality the Centre in a letter dated June 26, 2007, had clarified that Rs 51.95 crore have been allocated for the purpose for 2005-2012.

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