Discussion on budget: former CM Shanta Kumar remembered, ruling & Oppn members shower praise 

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Shimla, Mar 10
Creating ripples in the state assembly during the discussion on budget, members of Ruling and opposition benches showered praise for Former Chief Minister and Union Minister Shanta Kumar in the state assembly on Wednesday.

Opposition MLA Ram lal Thakur stated while taking part in budget discussion quoted Former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar recently released book  ”Nijpath ka Awachil Panchhi” in the assembly. ” Kumar whom all of us regard, must have felt deep pain over the state of political affairs in the country as he has stated in his book ” Nijpath ka Awachil Panchhi ” that there was repent corruption in the country and riots were being organized ” said Thakur.

Adding, ”Why did a senior BJP leader (belonging to Himachal) not attend the book release function of Shanta Kumar even as he was invited as chief guest in the ceremony. In his absence former Union HRD minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi unveiled the book” said the Congress leader.

However, Speaker Vipin Parmar said that member should not digress from the issue as he
was not able to correlate the issue of Shanta Kumar’s book with the budget discussion.
In reply, Thakur said that he was not digressing from the budget discussion. The reference of Shanta Kumar was to express the state of affairs, added Thakur. The Congress MLA further questioned that why was the Jai Ram Govt relying so much on borrowing if it was a genuine double engine government.
Besides, Parliamentary affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj pointed out during the discussion that Cong member referred to the book of Shanta Kumar in his speech but should not have named party president Jagat Prakash Nadda and therefore the remarks should be expunged.

Further during the session even the BJP member of Assembly from Jawalamukhi Ramesh Dhawala remembered Shanta Kumar. Mere bumbling of government funds is not the only corruption, he stated. “But if any officer who is taking lakhs of rupees as Salary and not working at par with his mandate is also corruption and the state govt should nail down such officers,” pointed the senior BJP MLA from Kangra.

” Shanta Kumar came up with the Noblest idea for best utilisation of officers and other employees by implementing ‘no works no pay”, he added. ” I think if any officers keeps on drawing heavy salary and perks but does not serve the people, it is also corruption,” he stated.

He said that even though there are hundreds of Regional Managers in HRTC but the corporations is suffering acute shortage of backbone staff like drivers and conductors. Further Dhawala cautioned the govt that due to the army of RMs and other officer the corporations and board in the State are running in losses.
Comparing with all Chief ministers who have headed the State government, Dhawala stated that CMs keep coming and going irrespective of parties, but Shanta Kumar as CM and Union Minister initiated such policies and programs which benefited crores of peoples.  Giving examples of policies like Antodya Yojana and others, the BJP MLA made his statement.
While taking a dig on the education standard in the state run school Dhawala pointed that a fifth standard student of Govt school could not write his own name, then forgot that such could write their father’s name. ” In peak times of COVID pandemic teachers were being paid salaries to the tune of Rs 80000 in their homes. Yet they could not effectively perform their duties. The state should have ensured productivity of such govt staff ” said the BJP member. Dhawala emphasized that the state should improve the quality of education in government run schools.
Pertinent to mention that during the budget discussion this BJP leader has tried to keep his own government in docks. He further stated that the Government should reconsider disbursing pension to the above 65 yrs old women irrespective of the economic background. Reasoning the same, Dhawala stated that, in light of the fact that the state is indulged heavily in borrowing funds for running affairs’, such expenses could only add to the burden. Dhawala categorically opposed the Rs 1000 new pension scheme announced by Jai Ram Thakur in budget speech stating that instead of coming out with a pension scheme for the well off or to say economically stable citizens, the State Government should consider making provision for giving pensions to the retired board and corporation employees.
Discussion on the budget is continuing and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur would give  the reply on the discussion coming Friday .

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