Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday described the state budget as "progressive" and development-oriented even as the opposition criticized it.

Adequate provisions were made in the budget for infrastructure, water, power, roads, education, health, women empowerment, industries and for turning agriculture into a profitable venture, Chouhan said.

"The budget is progressive and will bring a smile on the face of housewives as domestic LPG cost will be reduced in the state and sufficient provisions were made for the welfare of poor and youth in it," he said.

State BJP President Narendra Singh Tomar too seconded this opinion and said the budget will provide relief to the common person and aims at development. Tomar said it was because of better fiscal management that the gross domestic product in the state remained at 10 percent for the last five years, which was negative in 2002-03.

On the other hand, Leader of Opposition in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Ajay Singh termed the budget as "highly disappointing". In a statement, Singh said farmers, government employees and commoners did not find any place in the budget.

He accused the government of betraying housewives by reducing entry tax on LPG. "If it was really interested in their welfare, it would have reduced total VAT on it." The expenditure on non-essential items had gone up in the last 10 years during which money had been used mostly for corruption, he alleged.

The Opposition leader said the government was busy in making tall claims while doing nothing on ground. State CPI media in-charge Shailendra Kumar Shaili said the budget had totally disappointed labour, minorities and tribals. It would have been better if the state government provided one more subsidised cylinder to the people in MP, he said.


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