Agriculture, education, public health and infrastructure have been given importance in the Union Budget, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Friday.
Commending Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the Budget, Mr. Karunanidhi, in a statement, welcomed the announcements of fresh crop loans for Rs. 3.75 lakh crore during 2010-2011, extension of the farm loan waiver scheme till June 2010, interest subvention of additionally one per cent for prompt repayment of crop loans and the provision of about Rs. 1.73 lakh crore for infrastructure.
Referring to the Centre’s decision to give a grant of Rs. 200 crore to the State government for establishing a zero liquid discharge system in Tirupur for the knitwear industry, Mr. Karunanidhi thanked him for accepting the State government's request.
He welcomed the provision of about Rs. 1.37 lakh crore for social welfare projects; Rs. 31,000 crore for school education; Rs. 22,300 crore for health and public welfare and Rs. 40,100 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Responding to the State government’s persistent request for the increase in the unit cost of dwelling units under the Indira Awas Yojana, he said the Centre hiked the cost from Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 45,000. It was comforting that the personal income tax slabs had been changed to provide relief to the middle class, Mr. Karunanidhi added.