Guj: Rupani hails budget, Cong dubs it 'directionless'

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani (PTI File Photo)

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said his government has presented a 'focused' budget keeping in mind sustainable development goals, while the opposition Congress dubbed it as 'directionless' offering nothing for the masses.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who handles the finance portfolio, presented the state budget for fiscal 2019-20 in the assembly.

Welcoming the budget, which has a size of Rs 2.03 lakh crore, Rupani said the time has come for Gujarat to move towards sustainable development.

"Our government has presented a focused budget. This budget will usher in a new era of sustainable development. Our aim is to bring development, but not at the cost of the environment.

"Gujarat wants to become a model state in terms of sustainable development and this budget reflects that vision of the BJP government," Rupani said in a statement.

The budgetary provisions mainly revolved around water management, conserving the environment, promoting clean and green energy, generating new employment opportunities and developing the agriculture sector.

"We have made provisions to ensure that each and every household in the state gets tapped drinking water by 2022. We will spend Rs 4,500 crore for this purpose in this year alone.

"We have also announced to set up eight desalination plants to convert seawater into freshwater. Various provisions in the agriculture sector reflect our resolve to double farmers' income by 2022," the chief minister said.

Not impressed by the budget presented by the BJP government, the opposition Congress said it has nothing concrete for people, especially unemployed youths and farmers.

"This is a directionless budget. In the entire budget, having a size of over Rs 2,00,000 crore, there is nothing concrete for youths reeling under unemployment," said Leader of Opposition in Assembly Paresh Dhanani of the Congress.

"The budget also offers no respite to farmers, who were expecting some announcements that would bring down the prices of fertilisers, seeds, pesticides and farm equipment," he said.

"Though the people of Gujarat gave them all the 26 LokSabha seats for a second time, it seems the BJP government has ditched them.

"Instead of giving some relief, this government imposed new taxes of Rs 400 crore," said the Congress leader. 

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