CHANDIGARH, Feb 29—The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal, has lauded the Union Budget for 2016-17, presented by the Union Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley, in Parliament today, as pro-poor, pro-farmer, welfare and growth-oriented which has something for every section of the society.
Reacting to the Budget proposals here today, the Chief Minister was all praise for the goal to double the income of farmers in five years and the provision of Rs 35,984 crore for their welfare. “The Budget will surely help de-stress the distressed rural sector. The proposals to set apart Rs 9 lakh crore for farm credit; Rs 5,500 crore for crop insurance scheme; dedicated irrigation fund worth Rs 20,000 crore under NABARD; highest ever compensation in case of crop loss under the “Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana” and allocation of Rs 412 crore for encouraging organic farming would open new opportunities for the farmers,” he said.
Besides, the proposals to have a unified agriculture market e-platform, allocation of the highest-ever Rs 38,500 crore to MNREGA and the target of 100 per cent rural electrification by May 1, 2018 are highly appreciable. Mixing fiscal prudence with sagacious use of resources at his command, Mr Jaitley has given infrastructure the much needed boost with the allocation of Rs 2.31 lakh crore, including Rs 97,000 crore for roads for building 10,000 kms of national highways in 2016-17 and conversion of 50,000 km of state highways to national highways, he said. The employees stand to gain a lot.
While HRA deduction from taxable income has been increased to Rs 60,000 per annum; 40 per cent of withdrawal under NPS will be tax-exempt; and additional exemption of Rs 50,000 has been given for housing loans up to Rs 35 lakh, provided the cost of house is not above Rs 50 lakh. Besides,health insurance of up to Rs 1 lakh per family is a laudable social welfare measure, Mr Manohar Lal added. The allocation of Rs 500 crore for Stand Up India Scheme for members belonging to SCs/ STs and women entrepreneurs, proposal to promote two projects under Stand Up India per bank branch per category, opening 1,500 multi-skill training institutes and to skill one crore youth in the next three years under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana, and Rs 1,000 crore for higher education financing would help skill the youth and get them employment, the Chief Minister said. Appreciating an allocation of Rs.9,500 crores for Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, proposal to cover six crore additional households under digital literacy scheme in the next three years, he said that the decision to set up 300 urban clusters under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission would help change the urban landscape in the country.