TAMIL NADU

A disappointing budget: PMK

Pondicherry March 30. The convenor of the Pondicherry State committee of the PMK, N. G. Panneerselvam has said that the budget the Chief Minister, N. Rangasamy presented on the floor of the House on Friday was most disappointing.

When more than 1.5 lakh youths were waiting for jobs through Employment Exchange nothing had been said in the budget as to how the Congress government would tackle the unemployment problem in the Union Territory, he said.

Mere abstinence from imposing fresh taxes, proposals for the food park or distribution of footwear or bicycles and expansion of the breakfast scheme alone would not ensure development of Pondicherry.

Mr. Pannerselvam said that the Chief Minister himself had accepted that there would be only four per cent growth in the GDP (gross domestic product) in Pondicherry this year and this confirmed that the Congress government here had not properly planned for development of Pondicherry. The budget had let down the farmers, students, unemployed youth and also the Backward class people in Union Territory.

`No new proposal'

The budget does not contain any new proposal or scheme and has repeated either ongoing schemes or proposals, the Bahujan Samaj Party said today.

In a release here, Thanga Kalaimaran, State committee organiser, said the absence of any reference to civic polls in the budget speech of the Chief Minister disappointed the people. (The budget was presented on March 28.)

Mr. Kalaimaran said the contention that the budget was tax-free could not be accepted. Because already uniform sales tax had been imposed on nearly 238 commodities.

Now, the Value Added Tax was in the pipeline.

Hence, it would not be correct for any claim that the budget would impose no fresh tax.

The claim of the Chief Minister that there would be an excise-free port in Pondicherry was an old proposal, which was announced some three years ago.

It was shocking that the Chief Minister did not announce any relief to sugarcane growers, particularly in writing off the interest due from them.

The announcement that there would be bridge between Ariankuppam and Murungapakkam was not new. It had been proposed four years ago.

Minorities were not promised any concession in the budget, he said.

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