CHANDIGARH, March 20: Former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said that it was the most hopeless and worst ever budget he had seen so far which had neither any promise nor any vision. Budget is not supposed to be mere financial calculations of borrowings and expenses, but a charter for growth and progress, he remarked, while adding, it fails on all counts.
In his initial reaction to the budget, Capt Amarinder expressed grave concern over the continued borrowings by the state. He pointed out, the borrowings were to cross Rs 95000 crores by the end of this fiscal and there are no attempts to arrest this trend. “It is like robbing Peter paying Paul”, he remarked, while referring to the continued borrowings of the state which he said could push it only towards bankruptcy.
“We have been continuously drawing the attention towards the alarming situation”, he pointed out, while adding, instead the Chief Minister during his Moga campaign claimed that the borrowings were only at Rs 25000 crores. He said, this only proved his point that the government was always lying.
He also had a dig at the government for comparing Punjab’s growth with national average. He said, it was an unjustified comparison as the nation includes backward and tribal states also. “If they have to compare the growth rate, better compare it with the states prosperous states with highest growth rate”, he remarked.
The former Chief Minister also expressed serious concern over the poor growth rate of about 6 percent only. He said, it was disappointing that a prosperous state like Punjab had slipped down among the slowest growing states in the country far behind than the neighbouring states like Haryana and Himachal.