MP Assembly clears supplementary Budget

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Bhopal, Mar 13 (UNI) The Madhya Pradesh Assembly today passed the third supplementary budget of Rs 2070.36 crore for the fiscal 2007-08 by voice vote after a brief debate.

Replying to the oppositions charge that huge funds provided in the supplementary demands at the fag end of the financial year were being siphoned off through corrupt means, Finance Minister Raghavji said additional funds were sought for capital investment, besides payment of pending bills and dearness allowance. About Rs 140 crore was provided for drought relief works during current financial year, while it was proposed to spend Rs 625 crore on this count in the next financial year also.

Mr Raghavji alleged that the Centre was discriminating against the state as no financial aid had been extended so far to meet the severe drought situation in 39 districts.

Mr Ramniwas Rawat(Cong), who initiated the debate, expressed the apprehension that most of the funds sought through the supplementary Budget just a fortnight before the close of the financial year would be siphoned off. ''There was gross corruption and the tendency to seek financial allocation at the fag end of the financial year should be checked'', he said, adding wasteful expenditure should be curbed.

He alleged that there was discrimination in carving out 30 new Tahsils in favour of the ruling BJP.

Mr Rawat and other Congress members criticised the BJP government for allotting Rs 17.50 crore to 25,000 ''unidentified'' 'Bhajan Mandalis'' for purchasing musical instruments and Rs 4.20 crore to Deendayal Upadhyaya Research Institute.

Heavy amount was spent on erecting hoardings to publicise state government's achievements, while the farmers were suffering from shortage of water and electricity, they alleged, adding a poor youth of Gwalior committed suicide after a warrant was issued against his mother for recovery of Rs 39,000 on power charge.

BJP members Lal Singh Arya and Uma Shankar Gupta defended allocation of funds to 'Bhajan Mandalis' saying Congress was in the habit of objecting anything related with religious matters.

Samajwadi Party member Kishor Samrite sought proper audit of funds allocated to civic bodies. Education mafia was prospering at the cost of tribals and other backward sections, he said, adding economic disparity should be ended to counter Naxal activities in tribal areas.

Mr Ramlakhan Sharma, Mr Girish Gautam, Mr Vanshmani Prasad Varma, Dr I M P Verma and Dr Govind Singh also participated in the discussions.

UNI SP KK HT1514

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