The CPI(M) Legislature Party on Sunday demanded the Government consult the Assembly’s Estimates Committee and experts before preparing the 2011-12 budget proposals.

In a statement here, party leader Julakanti Ranga Reddy said in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka such consultations and advice from experts were being taken and the allocations spent for the specific purpose. He referred to the Kerala example where the budget was finalised after inviting proposals at ‘grama sabhas’ as per people’s plan finalised at the gram panchayat ward level. This would ensure that firm estimates were prepared and expenditure incurred without any scope for diversion of funds.

Mr. Reddy criticised the State Government for its practice of finalising the budget in a ‘unilateral’ and ‘unscientific’ manner without considering the needs of people, regions and sectors and with ‘political motives’. Hence, he pointed, it has become normal for the administration to divert funds allotted to a particular sector to another and described such action as ‘unconstitutional’.

He asserted that diversion of welfare budget was resulting in falling standards of people and social/regional disparities and injustice to weaker sections. This could be avoided if the process of consultations was followed.

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