Chandigarh: Opposition Congress on Wednesday slammed the Haryana budget for 2015-16 saying people were hoping for a "big bang", but it has ended with a "whimper".
Participating in the debate on the budget in the ongoing session of the state Assembly, leader of the Congress Legislature Party, Kiran Choudhary, flayed the first budget of the BJP government, claiming, "it lacks vision and clarity of purpose, belies expectations and offers the common man, especially the farmers, neither relief nor hope. It is a complete let-down."
"What was promised to be a big-bang reforms and people-oriented budget has ended with a whimper," she said.
Quoting Greek philosopher Plato, Choudhary, the MLA from Tosham, said, "reality is a poor copy of the ideal."
She said that BJP, which had made "tall promises" to the electorate before the polls, was now confronted with hard realities and had failed to tell the public how they were going to fulfill their promises.
"No measures have been listed to spur growth, no steps have been taken to rein in deficit, no schemes for the welfare of the man in the street and no plans to lessen the woes of the suffering farmer," she said.
Continuing further, she said, "Neither it is 'Achha Budget', as promised by the chief minister while presenting the White Paper (earlier on state finances), nor it holds the promise of ushering in 'Achhe Din', as vowed by the BJP," Choudhry alleged.
She claimed that Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu has done nothing to facilitate capital formation which means creation of capital assets, vital for the growth of any economy.
"With almost half the revenue getting consumed by pay, pension and interest payments, he should have resorted to innovative non-taxation measures to mop up resources for creating capital assets as debt burden has increased," she said.
"Nothing has been done to make 'Make in India, Make in Haryana' a reality. It remains a slogan," she said.
The BJP government has failed to fulfill even a single promise made to the people, be it growers, employees, wage earners, traders and even students, she claimed.
"Besides other things, BJP had promised to provide Rs 6,000 as unemployment allowance to those who have passed class XII, and Rs 9,000 to unemployed graduates and post-graduate students, but they are silent on this now," she added.
"The Finance Minister talks of taking water to the tail-ends of most channels and achieving the goal of ?Har Khet Ko Paani?," Choudhary said, adding "but given the tough stand taken by the Punjab Government where the BJP shares power, to enforce the Riparian principle, the talk sounds hollow."
She also said that the BJP had "gone back" on its promise of implementing the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report for farmers.
Joining her on the issue, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that if state BJP leaders feel that implementing the recommendations of the Commission was a domain of the Central government, then the saffron party should not have made this promise in their state manifesto, ahead of last year's assembly polls.
Participating in the budget debate, Leader of Opposition and senior INLD leader, Abhay Singh Chautala, said the budget had "failed" to provide any relief to the beleagured farming community.
He said that despite new diseases confronting the people like swine flu, but only 3.82 per cent of the total budget had been earmarked for the health sector as against 3.83 per cent in 2014-15.
This prompted Health Minister Anil Vij to intervene, saying that the BJP government with its better fiscal management will ensure that the amount reserved for health sector is adequate and wisely spent.
Vij also said that a list would be prepared of all expenditure incurred on developmental works in his departments during last ten years so as to assess the proper utilisation of funds.
He said that records of all departments under him would be checked so as to verify whether the amount was spent justifiably or not during last 10 years by the Congress Government.
Chautala said that Dalit and Backward Classes, which had "suffered" during the previous Congress government, should have got more funds for their welfare in the present budget, but mere Rs 7 crore had been increased in comparison to the previous budget.
Meanwhile, towards the end of the day's proceedings, the Haryana Assembly witnessed heated exchanges between BJP and opposition Congress benches after ruling party MLAs strongly objected to some alleged "unpleasant remarks" made by Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal for a woman member of the ruling outfit.