Punjab FM Harpal Cheema flooded with Budget suggestions

Punjab FM Harpal Cheema flooded with Budget suggestions

Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema during a meeting in Sangrur. file

Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, May 8

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s attempt to involve public in preparing a “people’s Budget” seems to have gone down well with the masses, who see it as an opportunity to participate in making an important fiscal policy document.

Insightful proposals

The suggestions, especially on exports and agriculture, are quite insightful and aim at creating more job opportunities... we will be accommodating all these suggestions in the Budget. — Harpal Cheema, Finance minister

From suggestions on how to rev up the state’s sagging economy to getting more industrial investment to spending more in education and health sectors and diversifying the agriculture — people from all walks of life are coming up with a wide range of suggestions for Finance Minister Harpal Cheema, to include in his first Budget proposals.

Since the new government took over only in the third week of March, they presented a Vote on Account for three months. The Budget of Punjab is to be presented in June.

Not only is the state government’s email id and that of the Finance Department inundated with suggestions, even the public meetings being organised by the Finance Minister are drawing a huge crowd. Separate teams of officials have been set up at the Chief Minister’s Office and the Finance Department to examine the proposals. Officials also accompanied Cheema in his public meetings held at Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Sangrur and Bathinda to take note of all the proposals.

These meetings are now scheduled to be held in Jalandhar, Amritsar and Mohali over the next two days.

Taking to The Tribune, the Finance Minister said the government was seeking people’s opinion through three mediums — email, public meetings and suggestions to respective MLAs. “People are very happy at being involved in the entire process. They are well aware of the state’s fiscal position and the limited legroom we have to put in the development proposals,” he said, adding all suggestions would be collated by end of this week.

#harpal cheema

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