J-K BJP welcomes special package for UT in Union Budget, Cong terms it 'directionless'

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Jammu, Feb 1 (PTI) The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP on Monday welcomed the special package for the Union Territory in the Union Budget, which the local unit of the Congress termed 'directionless'.

The National Panthers Party (NPP), on the other hand, in its reaction described the budget-2021 akin to 'rob the poor and feed the rich and capitalist class'.

Lauding Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting a “balanced budget” despite constraints on revenue collection in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, J-K BJP spokesperson Tahir said Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is committed to the development of the Union Territory.

'The decision to lay a gas pipeline in the Union Territory and extension of centrally sponsored Ujjwala scheme is a welcome development. The mega project will be part of the Union government's plan to add 100 more districts of the country in next three years to the City Gas Distribution Network,' he said.

The BJP spokesperson said the gas pipeline in J-K will be a revolutionary step as it would relieve the pressure on availability of domestic gas and also help generate employment.

The BJP also welcomed the finance minister's decision for proposing a central university in Leh district of Ladakh, he said.

Reacting to the budget, J-K Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma claimed the Centre has neglected and dismayed the people of the UT in the budget which lacked the required direction and any roadmap to create better job opportunities and boost the economy.

'The budget is directionless which brought no cheers to the common people, especially the youth, students, the farmers and the labour class who suffered a lot due to worst economic slowdown and the COVID situation,' he said.

'There are no efforts to boost the rural economy and create job opportunities in the wake of large scale unemployment and retrenchments in the recent years due to wrong economic policies of the BJP government coupled with the COVID situation,” he alleged.

The Congress leader said there was no respite from the ever increasing prices of all commodities of common use and unprecedented price hike of petrol and diesel despite drastic fall in the rates of crude oil in international market.

'Jammu and Kashmir seems to have been forgotten by the finance minister in this budget and there is no focus on the most badly affected people of this troubled part who have been facing worst economic slowdown due to the various kinds of changes brought by the BJP government in last one and half years,' he said.

Reacting with anger, NPP patron Bhim Singh said the budget is akin to 'rob the poor and feed the rich and capitalist class'.

He hoped that the entire opposition would unite inside and outside Parliament as well as in the state legislatures to 'oppose and depose' the BJP rulers in the interest of 80 per cent of the population of India.

Meanwhile, Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Arun Gupta welcomed the massive budget for the health sector and the announcement of a gas pipeline for J-K.

'Nothing special has been announced for the trade and industrial sector in today's budget but the government has already announced an industrial package of Rs 28,400 crores to J-K sometime back,' Gupta said.

He said the economy of the UT is purely based on tourism sector but no focus has been laid on this sector, especially in Jammu division. PTI TAS AB SNE SNE