Rs 50-cr grant to Calcutta University welcomed

Our Bureau

The proposed reduction in the subsidy is likely to affect the interest of the common people covered under the public distribution system.

Kolkata, March 1

The Budget has failed to work out any concrete proposal for reduction in unemployment through the production system in agriculture and industry. The proposal to de-reserve a large number of industries will have an adverse effect on small entrepreneurs, Dr Asim Dasgupta, Finance Minister of West Bengal, has said.

The proposed reduction in the subsidy is likely to affect the interest of the common people covered under the public distribution system. In Centre-State relations, although there is a projection of higher devolution next year, the actual devolution of States' share of central taxes has fallen in the current year from Rs 94,900 crore (budget estimate) to Rs 94,400 crore (revised estimate). No proposal for debt relief related to small-savings loans to the States has been mentioned, although this has been discussed in the National Development Council and urged by all States.

"We appreciate the special grant of Rs 50 crore for Calcutta University as well as the proposal for a deep sea port and the limited access expressway that will benefit West Bengal and the eastern region. In the sphere of education, an increase in the budgetary outlay, with an emphasis on elementary education, from Rs 19,100 crore to Rs 25,500 crore is welcome. We also welcome the increase in the budgetary outlay for public health."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 2, 2006)
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