Shimla, February 1
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today termed the Union Budget as pro-country and pro-farmer, which aims at the welfare of weaker sections of society, besides giving a new impetus to development.
The Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would strengthen infrastructure development and at the same time promote an effective use of digital technology for ensuring a holistic and inclusive development process, Thakur said in a press note issued here.
He said that the Budget would speed up the construction of roads, railways, airports, ports, public transport system, waterways and give impetus to the development of these sectors in Himachal Pradesh under the Prime Minister Gatishakti scheme.
Thakur said that to increase capital expenditure, the additional Central assistance to the states had been enhanced by Rs 5,000 crore, and Rs 600 crore of it had been approved for Himachal for the current financial year.
He said that the Budget also emphasised on promoting zero budget natural farming, which would benefit Himachal Pradesh. He added that a provision of Rs 60,000 crore for 2022-23 under the Jal Jeevan Mission would help Himachal in supplying drinking water through pipes to all rural households by July this year.
The Vibrant Village programme for rural areas adjoining international borders would ensure development in these areas of the state, while the new Parvatmala scheme would encourage the construction of ropeways in the hill states with the assistance of the Central Government. He said that the state government had taken up the issue with the Union Finance Minister recently.
Thakur welcomed the announcement in the Budget to start a special facility to speed up the grant of forest clearances. He said that this would pave the way for the early start of development schemes that were pending in the state for want of forest clearances.
He also welcomed the increase in tax relief under the new pension scheme from 10 per cent to 14 per cent, besides the announcement of providing tax relief to specially-abled and their parents. The Chief Minister hailed the proposal to benefit one crore new beneficiaries under the Ujjwala Yojana.
Himachal BJP president Suresh Kashyap described the budget as “Atmanirbhar Budget of Atmanirbhar Bharat” which has taken care of all sections of the society. ‘Parvatmala’ scheme would go a long way in strengthening connectivity in Himachal, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and North-Eastern states.
Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the Budget would give impetus to infrastructure development. “Ultimately, it would generate more jobs,” he said.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur has hailed the Union Budget as inclusive and people’s Budget, benefitting all sections of the society. “The Budget gives impetus to the economy in spite of challenges posed by Covid,” he said.
Anurag said that the Budget was a big leap forward in making India self-reliant and realising the dreams of the people. He added an increase of 10 per cent in defence for giving boost to production would ensure self-sufficiency in the sector. Special focus on improving connectivity in hilly and difficult areas under the Parvatmala scheme will greatly benefit Himachal. Special attention has been paid to potable water, toilets and housing for the poor to carry forward the spirit of antyodaya.
He said that the stress on natural farming would double farmers’ income. It also showed the commitment of the government to encourage the food processing industry.
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