Regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

Deficit budget in Tripura

Deputy CM presented proposals to the tune of Rs 19,891.60 crore, an increase in 13.46% from 2019-2020

Tanmoy Chakraborty Agartala Published 20.03.20, 07:34 PM
Tripura Opposition leaders in the Assembly in Agartala on Friday.

Tripura Opposition leaders in the Assembly in Agartala on Friday. Picture by UB Photos

Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma, who holds the finance portfolio, on Friday presented a deficit budget of Rs 511.41 crore.

The first day of the budget session also witnessed a walkout by the Opposition CPM over the rejection of an adjournment motion brought by former education minister Tapan Chakraborty for discussion on 10,323 ad hoc school teachers who are facing termination on March 31 over an alleged faulty recruitment policy.


Dev Verma presented proposals to the tune of Rs 19,891.60 crore, an increase in 13.46 per cent from the 2019-2020 estimates.

The previous budget had proposals of Rs 17,530.46 crore, though revised estimates showed supplementary grants of Rs 2,747.11 crore.

“This is a realistic budget, development-oriented and tax-free. This year, we have heavily increased allocation in different schemes. For this, we incurred some deficit. Proper tax planning and good fiscal management would be followed to manage the shortage,” Dev Verma told reporters later.

The minister also claimed the government had for the first time prepared a separate estimate for the development of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities. Last year, the allocation was Rs 43,580.11 lakh, which has been increased to Rs 51,049.55 lakh this year.

He said the government had proposed 19 new schemes this year, which include changes in the State Planning Board, which will be known as Innovation and Transformation Aayog of Tripura, Chief Minister’s Poshan Abhiyan, Tripura Menstrual Hygiene scheme, Mukhyamantri Matrupushti Uphar and Tripura Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Abhiyan, among others.

After the conclusion of Dev Verma’s budget speech, the House witnessed a huge uproar from the Opposition benches after Speaker Rebati Mohan Das rejected Chakraborty’s demand for an adjournment motion to discuss the impending termination of 10,323 ad hoc school teachers.

Opposition CPM members reached rushed to the well and shouted “hai, hai” (shame, shame), demanding protection of the teachers’ jobs. But the Speaker said it could not be discussed in the question hour because there were other important business matters.

However, Chakraborty insisted the matter was very urgent and should be discussed before other matters.

BJP legislator Sudip Roy Barman suggested education minister Ratan Lal Nath would give a statement later during question hour and Nath accepted the suggestion. However, the Opposition members continued to shout slogans. Soon, a number of BJP and IPFT legislators rose and started accusing the Opposition party for its alleged actions which led to the loss of jobs, especially targeting former chief minister and leader of the Opposition Manik Sarkar, who kept quiet.

After an uproar for 10 minutes, Das adjourned the House 10 minutes before the scheduled lunch break at 1pm and the Opposition boycotted for the rest of the day.

Criticising the Speaker’s decision, Sarkar said “undemocratic activities” occurred in the Assembly on Friday.

Around 10,323 teachers, including graduate, post-graduate and under-graduate teachers, were inducted in different phases since 2010. In 2014, the Tripura High Court terminated their services and termed the recruitment process unconstitutional. In reference to a special leave petition filed by the state government, the Supreme Court later upheld the high court verdict in March 2017.

On Thursday, Nath said they will approach the Supreme Court to validate the move of recruiting the 10,323 teachers in non-teaching positions. Sarkar said this was a delaying tactic. “The state

government is trying to deny the teachers facing termination their chance of livelihood. Recruiting in different positions is the right of the state or central government and courts have nothing to do with it.”

On the budget proposals, Sarkar said, “I haven’t seen a budget like this in the last 35 years.”

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