Mixed reaction to State budget
Congress terms it pro-poor and pro-development; CPI says it is jugglery of numbers Vijayawada: The...
Congress terms it pro-poor and pro-development; CPI says it is jugglery of numbers Vijayawada: The ruling Congress leaders in the city have welcomed the State budget presented by the Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy in the Assembly on Monday. They termed the budget as pro-poor and pro-development. The city Congress working president Meesala Rajeswara Rao, said that the budget has 10 per cent growth projection for the 12th Five Year Plan, which shows a sign of growth. He said that the Congress took nine years to set the State's economy back on it's track and make it pro-poor from the Telugu Desam's pro-rich budget. He thanked the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for allocating Rs 4,122 crore for the Scheduled Castes welfare, Rs 4,027 crore for Backward Classes welfare, Rs 2126 crore for the Scheduled Tribes welfare and Rs 1027 crore for the minorities welfare. In addition to this, he said that the government had allocated Rs 8585 crore for the SC Sub-Plan and Rs 3666 crore for the ST Sub-Plan. Rajeswara Rao said that the government had for the first time introduced separate budget for agriculture by allocating Rs 25,962 crore, which shows the government's commitment to help the farming community. He said that the government had also reiterated its commitment to give 7-hour free power to farmers and thanked the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister for their concern towards the farmers and agriculture sector. However, the CPI took a dig at the budget terming it as jugglery of numbers. He took exception to the government allocating just Rs 6,770 crore for urban development, out of the total Rs 1,61,348 crore budget. He said that the government should have allocated Rs 53,740 crore for urban development as per the prevailing laws. He wondered how the government intended to develop cities with meagre allocation of funds. He also blamed the government for allocating Rs 69 crore for cultural affairs wing and said that the amount was not sufficient to protect the declining cultural values in the State. He also found fault with the government for allocating Rs 7,117 crore for electricity sector in the budget and said that the government had not taken steps to strengthen the power sector and reduce burden on the people. He said that the government had also not shown any provisions for increasing power generation in the State to meet the increasing requirement and also to save people from indiscriminate power cuts. Former legislator and the YSR Congress Party leader Jaleel Khan said that the government had neglected agriculture, health and electricity sectors in the budget. He blamed the government for nominal allocation of Rs 13,800 crore for Jalayagnam. He said that the Jalayagnam was an important programme of the Congress promised in the 2004 and 2009 elections on which the party had come to power. A He accused the Congress party of diluting the Jalayagnam scheme in the last two years after the demise of YS Rajasekhar Reddy. Former legislator and senior Congress leader, Adusumilli Jayaprakash, said that the government had given priority to agriculture, welfare, rural development and irrigation by making major allocations for these sectors in the budget. He said that the government had also given priority to education sector and had increased mess charges for the students which would be a boost to the education sector in the State. He welcomed the government introducing separate budget for agriculture sector with Rs 25,962 crore. It shows the government's commitment to farmers and agriculture sector, he said. The allocations for irrigation and welfare departments also speak volumes of the government's commitment to the development, he added. The CPI-M city secretary Ch Baburao criticised the government for not allocating sufficient funds for the city development. He said that the meagre allocation for housing and civil supplies indicate the changing priorities of the government turning anti-poor. He blamed the government for not giving special allocations for the city development and not mentioning the long pending demand of super specialty hospital for the city. The only mention for the city was the creation of two revenue mandals, he said and criticised the MP and MLAs from the city for not prevailing upon the government for special allocation.