The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 26 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fun & ‘fury’ in Assembly Modi defends state budget

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Monday asked the Centre to reduce the number of centrally sponsored schemes. He also trashed the Opposition’s allegation that the state budget was anti-people.

Speaking during the two-day debate on the state budget (2013-14) in the Assembly, Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio, said: “Altogether 147 centrally sponsored schemes are being implemented in the states. The Centre constituted the DK Chaturvedi Committee on the demand of the states to reduce the number of the central schemes. It had recommended bringing down the schemes from 147 to 59.”

He said: “The DK Chaturvedi committee recommended to release the central funds to the state concerned, which in turn should pay the agencies and incorporate the expenses in the budget.”

Countering the Opposition’s allegation that the budget was “anti-people, anti-growth and anti-poor,” Modi clarified that the government had proposed to invest 37 per cent of the total plan outlay of Rs 92,087 crore on the plan expenditure against only 19 per cent of the same during 2005-06 when the NDA govenment was formed in the state.

Earlier, the Leader of the Opposition, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, described the budget as “anti-people and anti-poor aimed at serving the interest of only middlemen, traders and rich section of society at the cost of the poor”. The RJD members led by Siddiqui walked out towards the end of Modi’s reply describing it as unsatisfactory.