Old wine in new bottle, says opposition

RAIPUR: Opposition parties in Chhattisgarh on Monday described the state Budget as very disappointing, saying that it has belied expectations of all sections of the society, as it is silent on governments long pending promise of bonus to farmers and giving benefits of Seventh Pay Commission to its officers and employees.

Leader of the opposition T S Singhdeo said, “The Budget is nothing but old wine in new bottle. The government has failed to make any specific announcement for farmers, who were waiting for long to get bonus on paddy sold under minimum support price scheme”. He said the budget is silent on implementation of 7th pay commission recommendations, promotions and increase in remuneration for shiksha karmis and other promises made in the past. This is a very disappointing budget, he added.

Taking a dig at the decision to distribute 45 lakh smart phones and SIM, state Congress president Bhupesh Baghel said the announcement is an attempt to benefit a telecom giant considered close to the BJP and its national leadership. Describing the Budget as hopeless, PCC chief said the government should have announced bonus to farmers as promised earlier. Talking about providing internet connectivity in tribal areas, he said there is no electricity in many of these areas. “People need basic amenities, and not internet”, he said, adding that all this indicated the lopsided priorities of the government.

Chhattisgarh Janata Congress (CJC) leader Amit Jogi termed the Budget as disheartening. “The Budget is an attempt to fool the masses, instead of addressing real issues. The promise of Rs 300 bonus and Rs 2100 per quintal support price for paddy sold under MSP has not been fulfilled even though the government has presented its fourth Budget. No relief has been granted to the state manufacturing industry, which is in the midst of a recession. A major chunk of money is going for general expenses, while only 20 per cent is meant for public welfare”, he added.

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