The opposition parties have rejected the budget 2017-18 presented today by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, as finding no impetus to ensure growth.

The Himachal CPM has termed the budget a routine affair with no strategy for the induced growth in the state. CPM leader Tikender Panwar, in his press statement, said the budget itself speaks about the limitation of the capital expenditure in wake of the objective reality existing where there is hardly any scope of development left out.

Panwar commented that “Of all there is a figure of Rs 23,942 crores that will be spent on the non-plan part and hence of the total revenue, just a limited amount will be left for the plan expenditure on development.”

There is a complete veneer over the reality and just some announcements which are absolutely populist will not lead the state to overall people’s development, he further added.

The total revenue deficit figure of Rs 1,041 crores is not 3.62 % of the total expenditure but over 21% as the total capital left out for development would be that meagre. This would mean that mere announcements will be on the fore and total realisation will be a distant reality.

CPM leader further stated the debt on the state has further increased and robs the ability of the state government to perform. Still how it is possible for the government to make such false postures is because of the fact that the government is moving a large sum from the plan part to the non-plan. He commented

“In such a situation how the government still boasts of the populist announcements being made does is simply by the fact that there would be large scale rampant privatisation of the essential services. That’s how the three medical colleges being opened in the state will run through the self-financing scheme. Similarly the so called projects of development that finds mention in the budget speech is either loan or projects which are funded by the world bank et al, which is more dangerous as it brings in additional conditionalities. We are a witness to the changes in the horticulture that is severely going to affect the back bone of the state’s economy. Similarly, there will be large scale shift from the previous dirigiste style of functioning to more privatisation and outsourcing of essential services.”

Though the government mentions about the filling of 20,000 functional posts but how is that going to happen with such a huge debt and increasing deficit is a big question mark, CPM leader further raised doubts.

The CPM termed the budget as just another exercise to hoodwink the people that does not address the important challenges the state faces for rejuvenation of its resources. It does not address the challenge of unemployment which is reaching an alarming situation. However, the party welcomes the Rs 1000 unemployment allowance. It does not address the demands of the large section of agriculture and allied activities linked strata that had high hopes but are completely let down.

The state BJP called the budget a juggle of stats. Ganesh Dutt stated that Virbhadra Singh has come out with a populist budget in a poll year. BJP leader has doubted hidden taxes to be imposed on the common people.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.