Shimla, Mar 9
Dissatisfied over Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur’s reply in the budget discussion Congress walked out from the state assembly today accusing the CM for presenting conflicting figures in the budget estimates presented in the Assembly on Mar 9. Chief Minister said that growth rate of 8.3 pc is possible in the 2021-22 in the state vis- a -vis to the growth rate of minus 5.2 pc of 2020-21. He argued the projection is achievable and figure is not exeggerted as alleged by Congress members in the house while speaking on the budget. He said that government in Rajasthan have projected growth rate of 11.04 pc for the year 2021-22 compared to growth rate of minus 2.94 pc of year 2020-21, Chhattisgarh projected growth rate of 11.54 pc compared to growth rate of minus 1.34 pc of previous years and Jharkhand minus 0.40 pc to 8.8 pc and Haryana minus 5.30 pc to 9.20 pc during the corresponding year 2020-21 and 2021-22. He said that members of opposition benches blamed the government for reduction of the plan outlay, however compared to 24200 Cr plan out lay during Congress rule it have been increased to Rs 40,000 Cr in the budget.
He said that Congress Government exhausted the borrowing limit between 2012-2017 however this government has borrowed 5384 Cr less loan from its borrowing limit despite centre have authorised the state to take loan above authorised limit of 3.5 pc of the state GDP exempted from the FRBM provision during the Covid slowdown.The government has tried to strike a balance on the financial discipline and never indulged in whooping borrowing. He said that the state would also not exceed the borrowing limit in this financial year as state has borrowed only Rs 4023 Crore in the current financial year and Rs 2000 Cr would be borrowed by the government in the prevailing financial circumstances, the state would be less dependent on the more borrowing however against the projections of Rs 69300 Cr borrowing state have taken cummilative borrowing of Rs 62000 Cr sofar.
Chief Minister said that during Congress rule between 2013-17 outlay of Rs 10430 Cr were provided for Public works Department which was increased to Rs 17130 Cr, the outlay Rs 19203 Cr were made in Education in Cong rule compared to Rs 30383 Cr of this government, Rs 10434 cr were provided by Cong rule in Agriculture and Rs 2480 Cr by the present rule similarly in Horticulture outlay of Rs 908 Cr in Cong rule and Rs 2016 Cr in BJP rule and for IPH Rs 7097 Cr and Rs 27000 Cr respectively. The state Government provided Rs 1093 Cr grant in aid to HRTC to subsidise transport movement for the people during the Covid.
The Chief Minister said that MLA discretionary development funds have been increased from Rs 90 to two Crore . He said that on the suggestions of Congress MLA the limit of MLA discretionary grant was increased from Rs nine lakh to Rs 12 lakh.
Denying allegations of opposition members that many schemes were launched in the election year CM said that many schemes have been running for the last five years in the continuity as 3.54 lakh LPG connections were issued by the state government which was not launched in the election year as schemes are underway for the last three years. He said that 2.84 lakh people benefited in the Health sector under the CM Sahara Yojana which was extended in the Budget. The outsource employees were hired by the Congress government but it could not bring any policy for them. “My government would work till the last day till in office till imposing an election code of conduct to address the left out issues too. He stated that just before completing the tenure in 2017 Virbhadra Government laid the foundation stone of many schools and colleges without allotment of lands and budgets. Lashing out the Virbhadra Singh Government for being in office for six times does not mean that one could violate the rules and throw the system to wind. The government have provided the benifit of sixth pay commision for as many as 1.40 lakh employees as 1.9 lakh employees already given their option for it. He said that the Government extended all benefit to the employees covered under new pension schemes as all additional financial benefits to tunes of Rs 240 Cr were released during last four years for NPS Employees.
He said that out of 68 members including 25 of ruling, 22 Congress, one independent and one CPI(M) spoke on the budget in a 17 hours long discussion which lasted for four days.
In the mid of CM reply Opposition Congress party leader Mukesh Agnihotri said that government is painting a rosy picture of state finances by projecting different figures in the Budget. He protested vehemently when CM said that Congress last govt exhausted debt limit between the year 2012 to 2017.