The Grand Alliance government in Bihar headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday presented the Rs.1.60 lakh crore revenue-surplus for the new fiscal in the state assembly with no proposals for new tax in a major relief to the common man.
This was the second successive budget of the GA government which came to power in November 2015.
The budget which was presented by state Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui covered every section of the society with prime focus on education (Rs.25,251.39 crore), energy (Rs.10,905.03 crore) and health (Rs.7001.52 crore). Rural development and road construction department were also given top priority.
“We have presented a revenue surplus budget with no proposal for fresh taxes,” finance minister told media after presenting the budget.
The FM added the state government had maintained the fiscal prudence despite non-cooperation from the Centre coupled with demonetisation drive.
Wondering over the Centre’s failure to grant special category status and special package to Bihar, the FM said the state would have prospered had the Centre fulfilled its commitments.
The opposition BJP, however, criticized the budget describing it anti-poor and anti-farmer.
“The budget appears to be misguided. Neither it talks about the welfare schemes nor it mentions the steps to be initiate to improve the condition of farmers,” state BJP president Nityanand Rai commented.
He wondered how the state government had given no priority to the agriculture sector in the budget despite around 80 percent of the state population dependent on farming for survival.
Bihar Opposition leader and BJP leader Prem Kumar too hit out at the government saying budget betrays the common men.
“It is a betrayal with the people of Bihar. The government has provided nothing in the budget for the poor, farmer and Dalits,” alleged Kumar.
He said it was for the first time that the finance minister concluded his budget speech so quickly in the house and also rejected the government’s claim that the implementation of total prohibition had led to fall in crime graph.