Shimla : Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has termed the Union Budget 2019-20 presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as progressive and development oriented budget which conceives a developed India within next five years. While responding to the Union Budget in informal discussions with media persons here today, he said that the Union budget speaks of new India with active participation of the people. It is matter of great contentment that budget allocation for Himachal Pradesh has been enhanced by 6.3 percent. He extended his gratitude towards the Union Finance Minister for this decision for Himachal.
The Chief Minister welcomed the decision regarding starting of pension scheme for more than three crore traders and shopkeepers having annual business up to Rs. 1.50 crore. Apart from this, the convenience of providing credit to all the shopkeepers within 59 minutes is also a historic provision. Jai Ram Thakur said that the decision to formulate new policy for strengthening the road network and maintenance of roads in the states under second phase of Bharat Mala project is also a welcome step which would benefit the hill states like Himachal Pradesh. He said that 1.25 lakh kilometer roads would be upgraded in next five years by spending Rs. 80250 crore under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna.
He said that the decision for constructing toilets for 1.95 crore families besides, providing basic amenities like electricity and gas is also an effective initiative in strengthening the rural economy and increasing rural living standards. Moreover, the provision of 9 percent increase in MNREGA fund would also prove to be a boon to the people residing in the rural areas.Chief Minister said that the decision to enhance concession on interest from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 3.50 lakh on purchasing the house up to Rs. 45 lakh is a major decision in providing affordable housing facility to all. He said the concept of ‘one nation, one grid’ is also a historic initiative to ensure electricity at a reasonable cost to the people of the country.
Jai Ram Thakur also appreciated the decision to ensure supply of clean drinking water to all rural households by the year 2024. The zero budget farming would be promoted in the country which would strengthen the efforts of the Himachal Government in this direction. He said that facilities of Rs. 5000 overdraft to women having Jan Dhan accounts and provision of Mudra loan up to one lakh would go a long way in women empowerment.