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Congress joins Left to slam Bengal budget

West Bengal,Business/Economy,Politics, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 IANS

Kolkata, March 23 (IANS) The Congress, a constituent of the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, Friday joined the opposition Left Front to criticise the state's budget proposals for 2012-13.


"The finance minister (Amit Mitra) has presented a superficial idea before us. He did not provide information in his budget proposal on spending to be made for rural, urban and panchayat infrastructure development. Had he given that, we would have been happy," state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya told reporters here.


Mitra Friday proposed an 11.56 percent hike in plan expenditure for the financial year 2012-13 for the state, which currently has a debt burden of around Rs.200,000 crore.


Bhattacharya said the government's plan for funding infrastructure development was not clear from the budget proposal.


"We have repeatedly urged the government for infrastructure funding. But what will be the spending in this sector is not clear from the budget. So the budget is silent on how industries will come in the state," he said.


"The finance minister is also silent on revival of Bengal's silk and tant (traditional cotton handloom) industries. The budget has also taken no measures for increasing the numbers of Self Help Groups (SHGs).


Taking a dig at Mitra, the Left Front said the budget was "visionless".


"The budget has made some unrealistic proposals. It is also visionless," Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and LF spearhead Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) veteran Surya Kanta Misra said.


"The finance minister did not show us the way how the state's income would increase. It is also not clear that how he would finance the deficit," he added.


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