Rigged facts, State on the verge of bankruptcy : Agnihotri : The Tribune India



Tribune press service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, March 5

Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Mukesh Agnihotri today accused Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur of rigging facts in the budget as the state was on the brink of bankruptcy due to poor financial management.

Agnihotri kicked off the debate on the budget proposals for 2022-23 presented by the Chief Minister to the Vidhan Sabha yesterday. He said the chief minister tried to conceal relevant information. “The budget is directionless. It carries simple hollow ads with no budget allocations. Your desperation and your fear of losing the Assembly elections are visible in the budget. So that’s definitely your farewell budget,” he added.

wishful thinking

Everything reflected in the budget is wishful thinking on your part. The results of the four by-elections held last year clearly indicate that this is your farewell budget, as the people have decided to remove you from power. —Mukesh Agnihotri, Leader of the Opposition

Thakur and Agnihotri had heated exchanges when the former disputed a statement by the CLP leader that the economy had been hit by Covid. “I quote the budget that you presented. If you prove me wrong, I will quit politics or you should resign,” the CLP leader said.

Agnihotri also questioned the government for projecting Himachal’s best growth in the past 51 years when the economy was badly hit by Covid. “Please tell us what magic wand did you find that helped you recover from last year’s minus 6.2% growth and aim for 8.3% growth. This means that the state recorded a growth of 14.5%,” he joked.

He said the debt burden would hit Rs 70,000 crore as the government plans to raise loans of over Rs 6,000 before the end of the next financial year on March 31, 2023. “What development pledge can you make? to people when a single Rs 29 out of Rs 100 is left for development work,” he added.

Agnihotri said the budget was completely silent on controlling rising prices and creating job opportunities. “You mentioned that 30,000 jobs will be provided but no details were provided. So this is just a claim because the jobs promised last year were also not provided. Large claims were made in the budget, but the reality on the ground is totally different,” he added.

He said there had been no progress on the chief minister’s dream project to establish an international airport in Mandi for the past three years. Employees were disappointed because the budget was silent on the issue of restoring the old pension plan and there was no mention of a policy for outsourced employees, Agnihotri added.