Facts fudged, state on brink of bankruptcy: Agnihotri

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, March 5

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mukesh Agnihotri today charged Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur with fudging facts in the Budget, as the state was on the brink of bankruptcy due to financial mismanagement.

Agnihotri initiated the debate on the Budget proposals for 2022-23 presented by the Chief Minister in the Vidhan Sabha yesterday. He said that the Chief Minister had made an attempt to conceal relevant information. "The Budget is directionless. It carries mere hollow announcements without budgetary allocations. Your desperation and fear of losing the Assembly elections is visible in the Budget. So, this certainly is your farewell Budget," he added.

Wishful Thinking

All that is reflected in the Budget is wishful thinking on your part. The results of the four byelections held last year clearly indicate that this is your farewell Budget, as people have made up their mind to vote you out of power. —Mukesh Agnihotri, Leader of opposition

Thakur and Agnihotri had heated exchanges when the former challenged a statement made by the CLP Leader that the economy had been hit by Covid. "I am quoting from the Budget that you had presented. If you prove me wrong, I will quit politics or else you should quit," the CLP leader said.

Agnihotri also questioned the government for projecting the best ever growth of Himachal in the past 51 years when the economy had been severely affected by Covid. "Please tell us what magic wand have you found that has helped you recover from minus 6.2 per cent growth of last year and target a growth of 8.3 per cent. This means that the state has registered a growth of 14.5 per cent," he quipped.

He said that the debt burden would touch Rs 70,000 crore, as the government plans to raise loans of more than Rs 6,000 before the end of next financial year on March 31, 2023. "What promise of development can you make to people when a mere Rs 29 in every 100 rupees is left for development works," he added.

Agnihotri said that the Budget was completely silent ton checking the price rise and creating employment avenues. "You have mentioned that 30,000 jobs will be provided but no details have been provided. So, it is just a claim as jobs promised last year have also not been provided. Tall claims have been made in the Budget but the ground reality is totally different," he added.

He said that there was no progress on the Chief Minister's dream project of establishing an international airport in Mandi in the past three years. Employees were disappointed, as the Budget was silent on the issue of restoration of the old pension scheme and there was no mention of a policy for outsourced employees, Agnihotri added.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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