Himachal CM hails Union Budget, Congress says ignored state

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Shimla, Feb 1 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Monday hailed the Union Budget, terming it as comprehensive and ambitious even as the Congress alleged that it ignored the state.

Thakur said the Union Budget rests on six pillars, including health and infrastructure development, with a focus on minimum government and maximum governance.

The chief minister said a provision of Rs 2.32 lakh crore has been made for the health sector, an increase of 137 per cent against the last year’s Rs 92,000 crore. Thakur said in upcoming six years, Rs 64,180 crore will be spent under the PM Aatma Nirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana and the Budget will help strengthen the health infrastructure of the country.

The CM said a special focus has been laid on nutrition and 112 aspirational districts, included HP's Chamba.

Thakur lauded Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for keeping over Rs 5 lakh crore under the capital expenditure, which, according to him, will be beneficial in ensuring better infrastructure in the country.

The CM also expressed happiness on the increase in the defence budget.

Thakur said the steps taken for economic uplift of farmers and horticulturists are also appreciable. He also welcomed the decision of enhancing the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund from Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore.

Meanwhile, Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the union finance minister announced to launch a Jal Jeevan Mission for urban areas. It will be implemented in over five years with an outlay of ₹Rs 2.87 lakh crore, he said.

The minister added that Rs 54,581 crore has been allocated for the department of the Housing and Urban Affairs, which is Rs 4, 000 crore more than the previous budget.

“This will increase the flow of funds to the states,” he added.

Meanwhile, state Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathour said the state has been ignored in the Budget.

It has been prepared keeping in mind those states which are going to the assembly polls shortly, he claimed. PTI DJI RDK RDK RDK