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Chhattisgarh budget gets assembly approval

Written by: Staff
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Raipur, Mar 28 (UNI) The Chhattisgarh assembly today passed by voice vote the state's budget of about Rs 12,309 crore for 2006-07 and the related appropriation bill.

Replying to the debate on the appropriation bill, Finance Minister Amar Agrawal said the state had made substantial progress in reducing budget deficit. The Planning Commission and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appreciated the state's better fiscal management.

Disagreeing with the opposition perception that the state was totally dependent on central grant and other central assistance, Dr Singh said the state will receive 1,800 crore from central allocations, while the remaining will be mopped up from the state's own resources.

Claiming that the pace of development had increased ever since the BJP government came to power nearly two and a half years ago, the Finance Minister said this year's budget focussed on upliftment and welfare of poor, farmers and tribals.

Earlier participating in the debate on the appropriation bill, veteran legislator Rajendra Prasad Shukla (Congress) alleged that the BJP government had failed to contain corruption and had also lost its grip on administration.

Referring to the foreign jaunts of ministers and bureaucrats, Mr Shukla said the tours should not degenerate into pleasure trips. A report must be submitted to the government after the tours.

Mr Lachchu Ram Kashyap (BJP) said the BJP government was giving proper attention to the development of tribal areas.

Mr Kavasi Lakma (Cong) demanded increase in the prices of tendu leaves (Beedi leaves), which were collected by the tribals from forest.

Mr Nandkumar Patel (Cong) said the BJP government had failed to contain illegal sale of liquor at many places. Besides, efforts were being made to cut down the powers vested with the Panchayati Raj Institutions.

Criticising the state's policy on naxalite problem, Mr Patel said it was because of such wrong policies that about 200 innocent people were killed since 'Salwa Judum', the movement against naxalites, started more than six months ago.

Pointing out that several officers were remaining at a particular place of posting even after getting promotions, Mr Satyanarian Sharma (Cong) urged the state government to formulate a clear transfer policy for its employees.

After the minister's reply, the House passed by voice vote the appropriation bill, authorising the state government to draw funds for the initiatives proposed in the budget.

UNI JJ SC GC2003

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