The Himachal Pradesh CPM has termed the first budget of the Congress government as a footstep into the previous BJP government’s direction of neo liberalism though much rhetoric has been made over the Congress and its role in the state. The budget misses the basic point of growth and visualizes a growth rate of 9% though at present it is continuing at 6%. How such a growth rate would be achieved, is missing in the budget. It is just a utopian wish that the present government intends to achieve without specifying the role of the state in providing an impetus for such a growth which should also have covered the growth of employment avenues. Further the CPIM has stated, the government does not speak about the management of the debt crisis which is gripping the state’s economy. What it focuses upon is just to control the fiscal deficit and follow the FRBM act in to. There is no difference in between the BJP and the Congress. The budget does not specify the role the government will play in meeting this debt crisis and the role it must play with the central government owing to the fact that the Congress led government exists in Delhi as well. The budget document just states about the share of the state in BBMB. Just glorifying the Supreme Court intervention would not help the state. Hence the budget lacks the basic direction and is just a flip with a new government though there is hardly any material change from the previous BJP.
The party has warned the people of the provisions that states about the Direct Budgetary transfers which is the recipe of the central government to provide subsidies which in fact is to get rid of the subsidies altogether. The budget also speaks about the intention of the government to help the farmers to shift from the cultivation of food grains to other cash crops. This can have varied repercussions with food security becoming a threat itself. Similarly the budget just provides a lip service to the issue of wild animals and stray cattle whereas does not provide any budgetary support to meet this menace. Mere providing of sterilization centres will not help. The longstanding demand of taking up the matter with the central government to lift ban on export of monkeys has no mention in the budget. Whereas the party has welcomed the move to provide subsidy to the tune of 80% on anti hail nets, it has asked the government to ensure that the small and marginal farmers are listed as priority seekers.
The budget has belied the expectations of the people that the government will nip the evil of hedgehog privatisation of higher and technical education in the state. The budget right in the footsteps of the previous BJP government has stated that it will provide easy land access to private entrepreneurs for education. It seems the government has not learnt any lessons from its predecessors and is bent upon the direction of privatisation of higher education. Which means that forming of SIT for the opening of private universities as is the sound renting the air is all to hoodwink the people. The party has asked the people to guard this move. Similarly the budget is rather mum on the creating employment in the state. Though the budget quotes the famous Leftist quote of providing a fish rod instead of fish , however in actual does the opposite. Keeping priority for skill development actually the budget brushes aside its responsibility of providing job avenues.
Opposition BJP too rejected the budget and termed it anti people and anti state. In a press communiqués, State BJP said that Congress led Govt has played with the poor employment youth. BJP said that Congress Govt failed to keep its promise of employment allowances.