New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) TRS MP K R Suresh Reddy on Wednesday alleged that there was discrimination in the Union budget and held that showing a 'big brotherly attitude' towards states, damages and destroys the federal structure of the country.
He also said that India is a federal country and the government should make efforts to protect and preserve the federal structure.
'I only reiterate what the prime minister said -- cooperative and not coercive federalism must be the norm of the country. With due respect to all, I warn that it is not in good spirit to show big brotherly attitude towards states which damage and destroy the federal structure of this country. You are showing discrimination in the budget proposal,' Reddy said in Rajya Sabha.
He said that most of the proposals made in the budget have gone to the poll bound states.
'I have nothing against them but I only wish equal treatment be given to all, and there is push for performing states so that they become growth engines of the country,' Reddy said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech announced allocation for projects in poll-bound states including Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
The Niti Aayog has recommended allocation for Telangana but the state government has not yet received funds suggested by it, Reddy claimed.
'When I look at the Niti Aayog and when I look at the announcements, I recollect what late Ram Vilas Paswan had said 'if there is a will, there is Railway otherwise survey'. Similarly, even if the Niti Aayog recommends and if the government doesn't have the heart towards us then the very purpose of creation of the Niti Aayog will be in doubt,' Reddy said.
Biju Janata Dal MP Amar Patnaik appreciated the budget for taking bold steps to bridge fiscal deficit targets, giving definite policy direction for the country's finances and the economy, asset monetisation and transparency by including food subsidy in the budget.
He, however, said that budget allocation in several important areas have come down and Odisha will lose Rs 12,000 crore.
'I refer to agriculture which is the largest employer in this country, but the allocation has decreased by 8.5 per cent. In textiles, the increase is three per cent, but capital expenditure has decreased by 20 per cent. That is the second highest employer,' Patnaik said Patnaik also said that there is no railway project in six districts in the last 75 years in Odisha.
He said that Rs 1.40 lakh crore have been collected as freight, but the expenditure on railways in Odisha is only Rs 14,000 crore.
'Odisha has been used as a catchment area for mineral-based raw material by the railways. Is it fair? Is it not a slap on the face of 4.5 crore people of Odisha?' Patnaik said.
DMK MP Anthiyur P Selvarasu said that the prime minister had laid the foundation stone for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Madurai which is under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare but construction has not yet started.
'I would like to convey that financial assistance for this project is not announced in the Budget. I request the Government to start construction of the hospital immediately,' Selvarasu said. PTI PRS ANB ANB ANB