Dhumal to present Himachal budget on Monday

Shimla: Brushing aside opposition Congress demands for seeking a vote of account instead of presenting a full-fledged budget, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who also hold the finance portfolio on Monday presents the 2009-10 budget that is largely expected to be populist coming as it is before a crucial general parliamentary election.

The government budget will layout new schemes based upon the proposed Rs 2700 crore annual plan, even though it is yet to get a final approval from the planning commission.

The states revenues have been rising over the past few years mainly because of additional revenues pouring in from sale of power and rising tax shares after implementation of VAT but increased wages burden, imposed by attempting to match those recommended by the 6th pay commission negates all gains.

Government plans to focus on boosting and diversifying agriculture productivity, scheme to continue providing subsidized rations to all sections and the possibility of rolling back transport fares are being expected to form part of the budget proposals.

In a departure from presenting the budget in the morning, the chief minister will begin rise to present it on Monday afternoon.

On Thursday, opening day of the budget session, opposition congress had walked out of the house saying that a 11 day budget session was too short to discuss all vital issues. Leader of the opposition had held that house committees would not get enough time to examine the budget proposals.

State congress president Thakur Kaul Singh had stated that since the annual plan was yet to get an approval from the planning commission, the government instead of a general budget should take an vote of account and could present the budget later.

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