Chandigarh, March 16- Haryana Chief Minister Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda has hailed the Union Budget 2012-13 presented by Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee in the Parliament today and described it as a pro-people and progressive budget which would boost economy and benefit all sections of the society, especially farmers, students, senior citizens, women, salaried class and those belonging to the weaker sections of the society.
Mr Hooda thanked the UPA Chairperson, Mrs Sonia Gandhi,Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister for presenting such a budget which would also check inflation and ensure sustainable growth.
Mr Hooda appreciated the proposal to increase budget for agriculture by 18 per cent to Rs. 20,208 crore in the total plan outlay for the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and increase in outlay for Rashtriya KrishiVikasYojana(RKVY) to Rs. 9217 crore . He said that while underlining importance of timely access to affordable credit for farmers, the Finance Minister proposed to raise the target for agricultural credit to Rs.5,75,000 crore, which represents an increase of Rs. one lakh crore over the target for the current year. He said that a short term RRB Credit Refinance Fund is being set up to enhance the capacity of Regional Rural Banks to disburse short term crop loans to the small and marginal farmers. He appreciated that Kisan Credit Card Scheme will be modified to make it a smart card which can be used at ATMs.
He also thanked for giving a grant of Rs 50 crore to Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar for research work.
Mr Hooda also appreciated that to have a better out reach of the food processing sector, a new Centrally sponsored scheme titled National Mission on Food Processing would be started in cooperation with the States in 2012-13.
Mr Hooda was all praise for the proposal to have an increase of 18 per cent to Rs.37,113 crore for Scheduled Castes Sub Plan during 2012-13.This, he said would immensely help the weaker sections of the society. He appreciated other proposals like hike in widow pension and disability pension from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per month and doubling of grant on death of primary bread winner of a BPL family in the age group 18-64 years to Rs. 20,000, rolling out a multi-sectoral programme to address maternal and child malnutrition in selected 200 high burdened districts during 2012-13. He further said that an allocation of Rs.15,850 crore made for ICDS scheme which is an increase of 58 per cent and Rs.11,937 crore for National Programme of Mid-Day Meals in schools for the year 2012-13 would improve the health of children. An allocation of Rs.750 crore for Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls, SABLA, would help the adolescent girls, he added.
He said that proposed increase in allocation for rural drinking water and sanitation by over 27 per cent to Rs. 14,000 crore and for Pradhan Mantri Road Sadak Yojana by 20 per cent to Rs. 24,000 crore in 2012-13 were praise worthy and so was the enhanced allocation under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to Rs. 20,000 crore with Rs.5,000 crore exclusively earmarked for creating warehousing facilities.
Mr Hooda appreciated the initiatives like increase in allocation by 21.7 per cent for Right to Education-Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to Rs.25,555 crore and by 29 per cent for Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan to Rs. 3,124 crore and proposal to set up a Credit Guarantee Fund to ensure better flow of funds to students. The increase in allocation for NRHM to Rs.20,822 crore in 2012-13 proposal to launch National Urban Health Mission would go a long way in improving the health of the people.
He appreciated the proposal to provide Rs.200 crore to enlarge the corpus to Rs.300 crore of the Women’s SHG’s Development Fund. He said the fund would empower women SHGs to access bank credit.A number of services including health care and services provided by charities, independent journalist, sport persons, performing artists in folk and classical arts are exempt from service tax. Film industry also gets tax exemption on copyrights relating to recording of cinematographic films, he added.
He appreciated that income tax exemption limit has been raised from Rs.1,80,000 to Rs.2,00,000; upper limit of 20 per cent tax slab has also been raised from Rs.8 lakh to Rs.10 lakh. Senior citizens without business income have been exempted from advance tax, he added.