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Sonowal hails budget, Congress-AIUDF miffed


GUWAHTI, Feb 1: Heaping praise on Union Fince Minister Arun Jaitley, Assam Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal said Union Budget 2017-18 is a “people’s and farmers’ budget that is development and welfare oriented”. In this context, Sonowal made particular mention of Jaitley’s ‘maximum stress’ on development of rural areas and farmers’ condition.

The State Congress in its reaction termed the budget ‘disappointing’ for the people of Assam in particular and the Northeast in general. “There is no special package or announcement for us here. Ours is a Welfare State, but this concept does not find reflection in the budget as there are no provisions to elimite poverty and increase the purchasing power of common people. No package, no mega projects were declared for any Northeast State,” said APCC president Ripun Bora.

AIUDF president and MP Badaruddin Ajmal, in his statement on the budget, said, “The absence of budgetary provision or special allocation for the Northeast, particularly Assam, is unfortute. In the Railway part of the budget, there is no good news for Assam as well as for the Northeast as a whole. Frequency of trains should have been increased, but has been clearly ignored.”

Terming the budget ‘progressive and development oriented’, BJP State president Ranjit Kumar Das said allocation for the development of agriculture sector has been hiked 28 per cent in the budget. Other areas like health, education, railway development and others have been given priority by the Central government in the budget, he pointed out.   

Reacting to the budget, FINER chairman RS Joshi said the budget is ‘in the right direction’ and it includes more economic content and less political content. He also commended the budget for showing good fiscal magement.