Budget lacks flavour, says Jayalalithaa

By: | Published: February 29, 2016 6:26 PM

Holding that Union Budget "lacks flavour" with no specific schemes, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today said it failed to meet the "higher expectations" of the people of the state.

JayalalithaaHolding that Union Budget “lacks flavour” with no specific schemes, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today said it failed to meet the “higher expectations” of the people of the state.

While expressing concern over the proposal to privatise road transport sector, Jayalalithaa, however, welcomed proposals such as the Health Insurance Scheme which she said was ‘similar’ to the one being implemented by her government.

“This Budget lacks flavour as it does not have any specific announcements of schemes which would have enthused different segments including the states. It also does not speak of the status of implementation of many schemes announced last year and the year before,” she said.

“The people of Tamil Nadu had still higher expectations, which have not been met,” she said in a statement reacting to the budget presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

She said the emphasis on agriculture and rural income were ‘welcome’ but asserted that doubling of farm income in five years, a ‘laudable’ objective, should be done in real terms.

The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is a welcome initiative but the allocation of Rs 5,500 crore appeared “grossly inadequate,” she said.

The increased outlay for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana also “responds to the request I have made to the Prime Minister” to ensure speedy completion of approved projects in the state, she said.

On the launch of the National Rural Digital Literacy Mission, she said it was “a recognition” of her government’s free laptop scheme for school and college students, aimed at bridging the digital divide.

Welcoming the announcement to provide LPG connections to poor families, she said it was “aimed at reducing domestic drudgery- the same objective with which her government took up the scheme for distribution of fans, mixies and grinders”.

She urged the Centre to ensure that states like Tamil Nadu which already had sizeable coverage under LPG connections were not left out under the proposed scheme.

She said schemes for selling generic medicines and Health Protection were “very similar” to her government’s ‘Amma Marunthagam’ (pharmacies) and the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance scheme.

Requesting the Centre to converge the new health protection scheme with that of Tamil Nadu’s, she said it would not only enable smoother rollout of the Central initiative but also reduce overlap and administrative burden.

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