Maharashtra ignored in budget despite being highest GST contributor: Chhagan Bhujbal

No concrete plan to uplift the socially oppressed, Centre segregated states that are due for polls and showered sops, says the senior NCP leader.

Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Chhagan Bhujbal on Tuesday said Maharashtra, which contributes highest in the country in terms of tax revenue generation, has been ignored in this year’s Union budget.

“Maharashtra alone contributes Rs 1.9 lakh crore to the Centre through GST. But in return, the Centre has overlooked the Maharashtra’s concerns. States, which are going to the polls, have been provided huge allocations of Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 crore,” Bhujbal said.

While expressing disappointment over “discriminatory” budget, he said: “There is no concrete plan to uplift the socially oppressed sections. There is no uniform policy for poverty alleviation. Instead, the Centre has segregated states which are due for polls and showered sops.”

The senior NCP leader said all these allocations would not materialize even in the poll-ready states. “Recall the Bihar Assembly polls. Ahead of the polls, the Centre flooded the state with mega projects and welfare programmes worth Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 crore. But has it translated into reality?” he asked.

Questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat mission, he said: “It seems the project is oriented towards BJP leaders and workers. It has helped neither a worker nor an educated youth seeking employment.”

The Centre’s apathy towards farmers who had been agitating for 65 days now on the outskirts of Delhi drew sharp criticism from the minister.

“Why is the Centre not repealing the three farm bills that triggered agitation across the nation?” he asked. “Farmers have come together with greater resolve to protest against the farm laws. Any government would have taken note of these developments and scrapped the laws,” Bhujbal said.

“The Centre, which claims to be concerned about farmers, has ignored Maharashtra’s agriculture sector. The state is drought prone. Despite that, farmers have produced crops here. Maharashtra has every year created a record in food grain production. The food grain and fruits have not only helped in sustaining the demand in the country but also catered to several foreign countries.”

“It is unfortunate if the Centre ignores the farmers’ contribution, and turns the budget into a tool to serve its own vested political interest,” he added.

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