Shimla: Heavily loaded with political overtones, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that in order to increase grazing pastures for sheep farmers, the government had decided to introduce the â€˜Congress Ghaas Hatao â€“ Charagah Bachaoâ€™ scheme for the first time in the state.
Speaking to media persons after having presented the yearâ€™s budget, Dhumal said that weeds like congress grass and lantana would be uprooted from affected areas in order to reclaim pasture lands in the state.
Under constraints of 13th Finance Commission recommendations that under assessed state committed expenditure on salaries, Dhumal confessed that it was a hard task to prepare a budget with a fund starved exchequer as there were demands of many sections of society that need to be taken care of.
In time when more hydel power projects get commissioned and the people become more self-reliant through self employment enterprises, the exercise would be a lot easier, he said.
Sounding optimistic, he said the states economy was at a take-off stage, many power project are due to become operational, organic farming was catching on, tax leakages were being plugged and information technology would help the state to modernize fast, he said.
For better tax administration, the department was being computerized, online collection of taxes had been introduced and unproductive expenses were being curbed.
The chief minister lamented the discriminatory attitude of the central government. â€œThe price of peace is that our demand for a special package to Himachal was not considered while Jammu and Kashmir has been given a special package of Rs 8000 croreâ€™s,” he said.