Bharatiya Janata Party National Vice-President and former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, in his brisk reaction termed the maiden budget presented by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel for the financial year 2019-20 as highly disappointing. He said that the Congress Government has forgotten its promises made in ‘Jan Ghoshna Patra’. He said that the budget lacks vision for ‘Nava Chhattisgarh’, hence it is unlikely to hope for any progress for the State. 

Former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh said that the Congress came to power after promising at least 70 populist promises in its ‘Jan Ghoshna Patra’ for youths, women and all other categories but in this budget it has cheated them. He said that he had tabled budgets for 15 long years and before that had seen the three years of erstwhile Congress Government but it is unfortunate that in last 18-19 years, he had not seen such disappointing budget.

The Congress had made huge promises during election, if the government had implemented at least 5 percent of these promises it would have been great achievement for it. The loan burden on the State Government has doubled from Rs 9,000 crore to 18,000 crore and they are still continuing to take loans. The Budget neither speaks of old-age pension nor about handicap pension nor there’s anything for the youths in the name of unemployment allowance. Big promises of Rs 1,200 monthly un-employed allowance had been made, but no provision has been made for the same. The women had great expectations from the Budget as they had supported Congress for complete prohibition. Unfortunately the Congress government is targeting on how to increase revenue from excise and it is all set to bring back previous setup of liquor sale which would be dominated by bootlegging. 

The former Chief Minister further added that the NDA government under PM Modi had arranged for providing free medical treatment upto Rs 5 lakh for 37 lakh BPL families but the State Government has banned the scheme in Chhattisgarh, which amounts to criminal offence. The state has not made any alternative arrangement neither it has sanctioned any budget for the same. In the absence of medical insurance scheme, poor people are left with no alternative to get their severe ailments treated.

BJP State President Dharamlal Kaushik in his brisk reaction said that the budget tabled by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel fails to give new projection for Chhattisgarh. Adding that the budget is misdirected from its objectives and the claims made through the slogan of Narwa, Garuwa, Ghuruwa, Baari given by Congress proved hollow. By bringing down power consumption bills to half up to 400 units only, it has deceived both domestic and industrial consumers. Kaushik said that the Congress which came to power by promising the get back the money invested in chit fund companies, has tried to deceive people just like chit-fund companies.

In their collective reactions, BJP General Secretaries Subhau Kashyap, Girdhar Gupta, Santosh Pandey, BJYM President Vijay Sharma and General Secretary Sanju Narayan Singh as well as BJP Mahila Morcha President Puja Vidhani have stated that there is nothing for the youths, women, unemployed in the budget.

‘Historical Budget’

Chhattisgarh Congress In-charge P L Punia described the State budget presented by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha as ‘historical’.

Talking to mediapersons at Swami Vivekananda Airport here, Punia said that the Congress Government caters to all categories in its budget. The Congress Government waived off farmers’ short term agriculture loans and slashed electricity tariff to 50 per cent for domestic consumers, he added.

Replying to a query on former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh’s remark on the State budget as disappointment for the people of Chhattisgarh, Punia said that there is no need to take certificate from Dr Raman Singh. There is a wave of happiness among farmers, poor and people from middle class post the budget, he added.

Asked on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement- ‘There is split in the Mahagathbandhan’, Punia said that there is split in NDA.  The Chhattisgarh Congress In-charge said that he would hold meetings with the party leaders to review preparations for upcoming Lok Sabha elections

‘Congress broke their seven promises’

In his brisk reaction on the budget tabled in Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) leader Amit Jogi said that in his maiden budget Chief Minister Baghel has broke seven promises made in ‘Jan Ghoshna Patra’.

Terming the loan-waiver policy of the State Government as a naive one, Amit Jogi said that the government which had promised to waive off complete loans of farmers in ten days of coming to power it has flaunted to waive off just Rs 5,000 crore short term loans taken by farmers from commercial banks in contradiction to its promise of waiving off complete loans which amounts to Rs 40,000 crore. The Budget doesn’t have any provision for waiving off midterm and long term loans.

Amit Jogi pointed out that the State Government by taking repeated loans is getting entangled into loan dragnet which is not good for the State. He said that in order to fulfill its promises, the State Government has taken loan from Asian Development Bank on LIBOR rate. The London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) is an interest-rate average calculated from estimates submitted by the leading banks in London. However, due to gradual weakening of Rupee against US Dollar, for the repayment of the said loan, which has to be done in US Dollar, the State Government will have to take additional loan of Rs 17,000 crore, which may prove detrimental to the interests of people of Chhattisgarh.

Jogi further added that in the budget, no provision has been made for implementation of complete prohibition nor any provision has been made for providing unemployment allowance of Rs 1,200 per month to unemployed. He said that it is clear from the provisions that the State Government is under severe pressure from the liquor lobby. 
Jogi pointed out that no provision has been made for providing life insurance cover to police personnel and no announcement for weekly off has been made, no provision for regularisation of services of panchayat secretary, kotwar, employment assistant, aanganbadi workers, Mitanin, gram patel and cook has been made in the budget. Jogi further added that over 85 percent domestic consumers use over 400 units per month, they do not have any benefit from the announcement of cutting down half power bills up to 400 units. He said that on the contrary, provision should have been made for checking power deficit which amounts to approximately 200 crore units every year.

Jogi further added that the State Government failed to curtail the VAT on petrol and diesel, rate of power duty on power consumption and by not doing so it has closed the gates for new industries. He said that the previous government had brought down the compensation against land acquisition from four times to double but the new government failed to restore it to four times, which again is u-turn on its promise. The State Government has not clarified its outsourcing policy, not filling vacant 23,456 posts in medical department amounts to breaking its promise.

Jogi said that Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel wants to do so many things at a time, but he neither possesses proper policy for execution nor has the intention to do so. For generating revenue, the State Government will have to again depend on liquor. Lacking in the provisioning for alternative revenue generation sources reflects the intention of the State Government. Presently, only seven out of 47 minerals are being mined in State and the State Government doesn’t have any plan or project to execute for mining of other minerals.