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Hooda says Hry budget reflection of 'failure' of economy under BJP rule, demands white paper

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: February 28, 2019  | 19:23 IST

Chandigarh, Feb 28 (PTI) Alleging that the Haryana budget was a reflection of the overall failure of the economy under the BJP rule, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday demanded a white paper on the state of economy. He accused the M L Khattar-led BJP government of leading the state to bankruptcy. "The budget is a reflection of the overall failure of the economy under the BJP government... Allocations on important segment of economy have been reduced and mismanagement of finances is clearly evident... the government must issue a white paper on state of economy," Hooda told a news conference here. Senior Congress leaders from the state -- including Karan Singh Dalal, Raghubir Singh Kadian and Geeta Bhukkal, all of whom are MLAs -- were also present at the conference. Hooda said the total outstanding debt of the state, projected in the budget presented by Finance Minister Abhimanyu earlier this week, was nearly Rs 1.79 lakh crore, which has gone up from under Rs 70,000 crore when Congress was in power five years back. He charged the Finance Minister with having presented a "visionless budget while depending heavily on borrowings". "When we were in power, the economy was in the pink of its health, which is in shambles now," he alleged. He also alleged that the BJP government in the state had failed to bring any major project during its four-and-a-half-years rule. "On the other hand, the previous Congress government had set up four power plants in the state, brought metro train in Haryana, several universities... The BJP has done nothing during its rule except leading the state to financial mismanagement. However, they are expert in event management and know how to blow the trumpet about their non-existing achievements," he further claimed. Hooda said "overlooking and ignoring" vociferous protests and walkout by the Opposition Congress and INLD, the ruling BJP, on the basis of the majority they enjoy in the 90-member Assembly, passed amendments to an Act, opening up thousands of acres to real estate and other non-forest activity that were protected under it for over a century. Chief Minister Khattar had said the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was passed by the Haryana Assembly here on Wednesday, was the "need of the hour", saying as it was a "very old" act and much has changed over the period of time. Hooda said a delegation of Congress members will be meeting the Haryana Governor on this issue. Hooda claimed that the amendment made in the Act would prove disastrous for the oldest mountain range of the Aravalis near Gurugram and Faridabad. "Opening up thousands of acres of land to non-forest activity will destroy the fragile Aravali hills and forest," he claimed. Hooda said the Congress members had suggested that the House Committee comprising members across political spectrum be formed to examine the amended legislation, but the ruling benches rejected the move. He said the Congress members pointed out that there was a "big scam" involved in passage of the PLPA amended bill and that builders and land sharks stand to profit a great deal due to the changed Act. "We will strongly protest against the planned ecological disaster of the Aravalis and will lead a delegation to the Haryana Governor to appeal to him not to give his assent to the new Act," Hooda said. Presenting a Rs 1.32 lakh crore budget for 2019-20 in the Assembly, the Haryana government had on Monday announced new schemes to provide financial and social security cover to families of farmers and those of workers in the unorganised sector ahead of the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls. The budget, which did not propose any new tax, has a total outlay of Rs 1,32,165.99 crore, 14.73 per cent more than the budget for 2018-19. PTI SUN CK

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