Special Correspondent

LDF says Budget aims at achieving sustainable development in State

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition United Democratic Front highlighted the lack of proposals for creation of employment opportunities in the revised Budget for the current year, during the general discussion on the Budget in the Assembly on Tuesday.

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) members countered the criticism, pointing out that the Budget proposals meant a shift in policy, aimed at development and social equity.

C. Ravindranath (CPI-M) said the Budget proposed changes in policy for achieving an increase in production, distribution of wealth and maintenance of environmental balance. The overall objective was sustainable development.

M. Murali (Congress) and K.B. Ganesh Kumar (Kerala Congress-B) pointed out that the Budget had no proposal for creation of employment opportunities.

Mr. Murali said thepresent Government was putting an end to the growth of the services sector. The tax proposals undermined the objective of a unified tax structure in the States.

Simon Britto Rodrigues (CPI-M) said the Euro-centric development policies had led to poverty among larger sections of the people. The Budget was effecting a policy shift towards the Left. Increase in per capita incomes would lead to poverty unless wealth got distributed.

K.C. Venugopal (Congress) pointed out that the Finance Minister had cut Plan allocation for fisheries. Funds for tsunami relief had also been cut. K.M. Mani (KC-M) said that there were no provisions in the Budget for writing off the loans of farmers who had committed suicides, and other proposals such as formation of paddy board, Open University, Police Commission and Law Reforms Commission. He said that the Secretary of the State Housing Board P. M. John was suspended a few days before his retirement this week without seeking any explanation from him. The debate will continue on Wednesday.

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