Chidambaram describes budget as "a very balanced effort"

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday described the annual Budget 2010-2011 as "a very balanced effort" marked by a mature assessment of the state of the economy.

In a statement, Chidambaram said: "The Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee's Budget for 2010-11 is a very balanced effort marked by a mature assessment of the state of the economy and of the measures required to sustain high and inclusive growth."

"The centre piece of the Budget is obviously the aam aadmi," he added.

Chidambaram expressed confidence that the Budget would receive all round appreciation.

He also thanked Mukherjee for proposing to initiate recruitment drive in the Jammu and Kashmir for the Central Para Military Forces.

"At my request, the Finance Minister has made a reference to the proposal belonging to J and K to the Central Para Military Forces in the year 2010. These youth will be recruited by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Forces (BSF), Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)," he said.

For police, a sum of Rs.30,000 crore has been provided under Revenue and Capital account, which is about the same level as the expenditure that will be actually incurred in 2009-10 and.

Chidambaram said this would be wisely spent, should be able to cater to the needs of security.

Assistance to States for modernisation of police force has been pegged at Rs.1,975 crore, a modest increase of Rs.130 crore over the actual expenditure that will be incurred in 2009-10.

"However, I am confident that, if necessary, we can find additional resources through re-appropriation or through supplementaries," He said.

Delhi Police has been provided Rs.2,805 crore, the same level as the estimated actual expenditure in 2009-10.

Construction of housing for the Central Police Forces has been given Rs.444 crore and we should be able to leverage this amount through the proposed public-private partnership model and build a large number of housing units.

Immigration services have been provided Rs.155 crore and the bulk of this provision (Rs.140 crore) will be spent on setting up Integrated Check Posts.

The ambitious Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS) has received a generous provision of Rs.175 crore.

Chidambaram also commended Mukherjee for the generous allocation to the flagship programmes and said "the thrust of the Budget is towards provision of infrastructure and social services in rural India."

Mukherjee made generous allocation to the flagship and other key programmes such as NREGS (Rs.40,000 crore), Indira Awaz Yojana (Rs.10,000 crore), the Rural Roads Programme (Rs.12,000 crore), Rural Drinking Water Programme (Rs.9,000 crore), Agriculture and related activities (Rs.6,515 crore), Agricultural Research (Rs.2,300 crore), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Rs.15,000 crore), Mid-day Meal Scheme (Rs.9,440 crore), Higher Education (Rs.10,000 crore), Women and Child Development (Rs.10,000 crore), Roads (Rs.16,700 crore) and Power (Rs.9,200 crore).

"The underpinning of a Budget lies in fiscal consolidation. The worst may be over and the Finance Minister has signalled that beginning 2010-11 we will move in the direction of reducing the fiscal deficit and revenue deficit," Chidambaram said.

"While these two indicators will remain high in 2010-11 (5.5 per cent and 4.0 per cent respectively), I am confident that we would be able to adhere to the road map laid down by the Thirteenth Finance Commission," he added (ANI)

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