Himachal CM: State budget pluralistic and pragmatic

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal on Tuesday described the state budget for 2012-13 as "pragmatic and pluralistic".

Updated: Mar 27, 2012, 18:23 PM IST

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal on Tuesday described the state budget for 2012-13 as "pragmatic and pluralistic" taking care of all sections of the society and aimed at containing the deficit within prescribed limits.

Replying to the four-day discussions on the budget
presented in the house on March 19, Dhumal extensively quoted
the comparative figures of development to put the Congress
opposition on mat and rubbished opposition`s charge that the
"budget is a jugglery of figures" as false and misplaced.

"Tax revenue from the state`s own resources has increased
substantially, the proportion of loans raised by the
government was much less as compared to previous Congress
government and the deficits was within limits and lower than
the Centre", he added.

Dhumal said that the state government raised additional
loans to the tune of Rs 5,000 in past 50 months while the
previous Congress government had taken loans amounting Rs
8,000 and pointed that the deficit was 2.8 per cent of GDP
while it was 5.1 per cent in the Union budget.

Refuting the charge of the Congress that the growth rate
has come down, the chief minister said that the growth rate
was 7.6 per cent which was higher than the growth rate of 6.9
per cent at the centre and claimed that whenever the BJP was
in power in the state the growth rate was higher while it was
vice versa during the Congress rule.

Referring to the benefits given to the poor, labourers
and other weaker sections, Dhumal said that the daily wages of
workers had been increased from Rs 75 to Rs 130, (annual
increase of Rs 23,725), old age and widow pension raised from
Rs 330 to Rs 400 per month, arrears of revised pay have been
cleared, seven per cent DA released and VAT on milk and milk
products has been slashed to four per cent.

Accusing the Union Government of discriminating against
Himachal and ignoring its demand for expansion of rail
network, he said that even the allocation for various projects
like Nangal-Talwara line has been reduced from Rs 50 crore to
Rs 10 crore and a merge Rs 1-cror has been provided for
Chandigarh-Baddi Railway line, catering to industrial
belt of Parwanoo-Baddi-Barotiwala.

He announced hike in internship allowance of MBBS doctors
from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 and said that it was being done on
the analogy of hike given to resident doctors.

Sharing the concern of member on loss making public
undertakings, Dhumal said that while the undertakings like
HRTC, discharging its social responsibility could be bailed
out, the other undertaking must take effective steps to come
out of the red.