Former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday said the Haryana Budget for 2021- 22 presented by the Manohar Lal Khattar government is “disappointing” as it provided no relief to people who are in acute financial distress.
Addressing a Press conference after the Budget, the Leader of the Opposition said the people are still struggling from the economic impact of long Covid lockdown and the corona pandemic and expected some relief and concessions from the Budget.
“But the Chief Minister’s two and a half hour long Budget speech did not provide any relief or help to any section including farmers, labourers, workers, businessmen and homemakers,” he said and added that CM Khattar deliberately prolonged the budget speech only to “mislead and confuse” people. Hooda said that the government repeatedly claimed to increase the Budget for education and agriculture while “the truth is that instead of increasing Budget allocation, they have been reduced”.
“An attempt has been made to confuse the public by adding technical education to the education budget,” he added. The Congress leader expressed concern over the deteriorating financial health of Haryana and said that the state was being pushed towards “financial insolvency”.
“The financial situation of the state has become very fragile today due to the policies of the government. The government has barely five per cent Budget left for developmental works after paying loans, interests, salaries and allowances to the employees. That is why there is a question mark on the announcements being made by the government. How will the announcements be completed without adequate financial resources,” he questioned.
“The BJP government is pushing the state in debt and is taking Haryana towards bankruptcy and that is why the debt figures were not clearly stated in the Budget speech this time. Apparently, the government is hesitating to expose its failure. It is estimated that the total debt on the state has increased to Rs 2.25 lakh crore and every child in Haryana is born with a loan of Rs 1 lakh on her head,” the Leader of the Opposition said.
Hooda charged that the “most disappointing aspect” of the Budget was that it did not show any vision nor did it appear to be trying to fulfil its election announcements.
“Old age pension has been increased by just Rs 250 while the JJP formed an alliance with the BJP on condition of increasing old age pension to Rs 5100 but the promise has remained unfulfilled,” he said.