Central budget disappoints Tripura

March 1st, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by admin  

Agartala, March 1 (IANS) The Left government in Tripura is disappointed with the budget for 2008-09, saying it has ignored the northeast. “Where is the package to restore peace by containing militancy in the northeast? Without peace how can development be achieved?” asked Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury.

“While allocating Rs.344 billion for the education sector, Chidambaram has announced to set up three more IITs in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan in fiscal 2008-09, but unfortunately nothing has been offered for the northeast region,” Chowdhury told journalists Saturday.

The total budget allocation for the northeast, comprising eight states, spread over different central ministries and departments, will increase from Rs.143.65 billion in 2007-08 to Rs.164.47 billion in 2008-09.

“Compared to the price escalation, this amount is very meagre and inadequate,” the minister said.

Chowdhury said the budget allocation for extension of only 300 km of new roads for eight states was unacceptable.

The minister said this “election oriented budget” would fail to check rising prices of essential commodities, inflation and mass suicide of farmers.

Terming the budgetary allocation for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) as “very poor”, Chowdhury said: “To provide works to the rural unemployed for 100 days in a year, the allocation should be at least Rs.400 billion as against the Rs.160 billion allocated in the budget for 2008-09.”

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