Home Economy Budget neglected northeast India: CPI-M

Budget neglected northeast India: CPI-M


Agartala : Terming the budget of the central government as “anti-people”, the Left Front government in Tripura Tuesday said it has largely neglected the north-eastern region.

“Doing a grave injustice towards the north-east region, almost the same amount (of last fiscal) has been allocated to the region, which is economically weak,” said state Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury.

The central government’s Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Ministry, now headed by B.K. Handique of Assam, has been allocated Rs.1,475 crore, slightly more than last year’s allocation.

Similarly, the North Eastern Council, a regional planning agency, will receive Rs.544.5 crore, which is more or less the same as what it received last fiscal.

Chowdhury said the union budget also has mistreated the North Eastern Development Finance Corp, which finances industrial and business projects in the industry-starved region.

Chowdhury, also a member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) central committee, accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of not allocating adequate funds for the public distribution system, creation of jobs and for enhancing people’s income.

“People’s loan burden will increase, inflation will rise and poor people will suffer more,” the minister observed.

Added CPI-M spokesman Gautam Das: “The railway minister had not allocated any additional funds for ongoing railway projects in the northeast India. The finance minister has also allocated nothing.”

Das said in its election manifesto, “the Congress did not spare a single line for the northeast and the same attitude was shown in both railway and general budgets”.

Regional trade and industry were also disappointed, and said “there was nothing much for the region”.

“The service tax on transportation by railway and water will push up prices of everything, as the region imports practically everything from other states,” said R.S. Joshi, president of the Federation of Industries in North Eastern Region (FINER).

“If we look at the north-east specifically, except for a meagre allocation for the Assam gas cracker project in the budget, there was not much for the region,” Joshi told IANS over phone from Guwahati.