Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma praised the Budget presented by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Vidhan Sabha today and termed it as pro-poor, progressive and rural- growth oriented. Newly inducted minister believed that this budget would not only play a pivotal role in socio-economic upliftment of all sections of the Society but would also go a long way in making them self-reliant.

He said that the Budget was the mirror of the efforts of the Government which has all the initiative measures for the development of the State and its people as promised in its Election Manifesto, which the Government had adopted as its policy document.

He said that the decision to give ‘Allowance’ of Rs. 1000 per month to unemployed youth was a welcome step as it would be of great assistance to them. Besides, decision to appoint State Commissioner for redressing Public Grievances in time bound manner and setting up of Lok Mitras Kendras in all Panchayats of the State would be of great help to the people of the State who would be provided people-centric services at their doorsteps.

The increase in grant under Rajiv Awas Yojna from Rs.48500 to Rs. 75000 was also a welcome step as it will help the poor to cope-up with fast escalating building costs, said he. Besides, construction of ten thousand houses for poor under different housing schemes will also benefit the deprived sections of the society.

The Minister said that to make-realize the dream of ‘Green and Clean Himachal’, the commitment of the Government regarding making every Panchayat as Nirmal Panchayat was laudable. He said the budget was more fruitful for rural masses as Rs 244 crore had been marked for Panchayati Raj Institutions for 2013-14.

He also welcomed the decision of recruiting as many as 200 Panchayat Sahayaks and appreciated the decision regarding construction of ‘Rajiv Sewa Kendras’ in rural areas where there were no Panchayat Ghars or accommodation. He said that it would be in the betterment of the area and the people as well. Opening of Gram Panchayats on every working day would help serve the rural population in a better way.

The Minister quoted “The Budget had been prepared and presented with a great fiscal prudence that will augment growth and create equity, it is pragmatic and productive”. He said that the budget ensured balanced development of all regions of the State and the people, particularly the poor and the downtrodden and those residing in rural areas of the State.