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Opposition terms state budget 'anti-people'
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, June 12 2013: The Opposition in Manipur Legislative Assembly today said the Budget Estimate 2013-14 tabled by the Chief Minister in the House is not 'people-friendly' but 'anti-development and anti-poor' .

Participating in the discussion on the Demand for Grants Budget 2013-14 which was presented by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh in the state assembly on the first day of its session, Opposition leader I Ibohanbi alleged that the budget was against development.

He said every policy must be fitted with the budget adding that budget is a master document.

Ibohanbi said there is fiscal deficit against revenue surplus and the budget tabled by the Chief Minister does not explain on what to do for the people.

"This budget has no major share of the state and at the same time it fails to prove the exact allocations of the rural and the hill," he pointed out.

It would not be satisfied without discussing on how much the cost disability has been decreased even if the Planning Commission releases crores of rupees, he held.

Ibohanbi suggested that it would be much better if entrepreneurs and experts are invited and fix the amount of a budget saying that it would be a right step to formulate a policy before finalising a budget.

MLA Th Shyamkumar, also from the Opposition bench while taking part in the discussion, said Government employees have been facing problem from irregular salary payment by the state Government and observed that more amount be added in the budget so that salary payment to the employees is done on a regular basis.

Responding to the charges made by the Opposition regarding the Budget Estimate, Ibobi said that no opinion was sought through the media while preparing the budget, but suggestions are invited from the people from time to time while doing so.

He said the budget has Rs 800 crore from the Special Central Assistance and another Rs 900 crore from the SPA, including Rs 900 croe from Non-plan Assistance.

"I am inviting suggestions from you on what will be taken up, but for that of SPA, we just cannot do anything randomly," he said, adding that the budget is aimed to keep attention on setting aside 70 percent for the Plan.

All the proposals submitted by the concerned Commissioners, Secretaries and the head of the departments had been entertained while preparing the budget, the Chief Minister asserted.

The Government is trying to avoid leakages in the additional resources receiving from the sales tax and power tariff however there is zero revenue from the Excise since Manipur became a dry state, he said.

Later, Dr Ibohalbi attacked the Chief Minister once more saying the nine-page budget has not a single policy and asked why the Government is buying medicines from Chennai for the National Rural Health Mission.


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