HP Assembly passes budget estimates for 2008-09

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Shimla, Mar 27 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Assembly today passed the general budget for 2008-09 and the related Appropriation Bill, authorising the government to spend Rs 13,415 crore from the Consolidated Fund during the next financial year.

The House discussed the demands pertaining to Forest Department, Police and Allied Organisations today, while demands for PWD, Agriculture, Irrigation, Water Supply and Sanitation and Industries were discussed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

All the remaining demands were passed without discussion after the Speaker applied the guillotine at 1500 hrs.

The House also rejected all the cut motions moved by the opposition by a voice vote.

Earlier, replying to the discussion on cut motion of Police and Allied Organisations, state Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal expressed concern over the widespread use of drugs by the youth and said this was turning out to be the biggest problem than terrorism and crime.

''The sale of drugs near educational institutions, presence in certain medicines and use of boot polish for getting intoxicated demands our greater focus then we are now giving,'' he said.

"Each member of the House has a responsibility in spreading awareness and education about the demerits of the use of drugs to prevent the youth from becoming its victims," Mr Dhumal said.

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