DEHRADUN, Feb 2 (PTI): Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Thursday said the Union Budget has several provisions which are especially beneficial for a Himalayan state like Uttarakhand whose economy is based primarily on tourism.
“The budget lays the foundations of a strong India and paves the way for its emergence as a global leader,” Dhami said at a press conference here.
“Measures like developing 50 new destinations, thrust to millet production, appointment of 3,800 teachers in Eklavya schools for tribal children, creation of funds for start-ups in the agriculture sector and development of border villages are some features of the budget from which not only Uttarakhand but many Himalayan states are going to benefit immensely,” Dhami said.
Uttarakhand will also benefit from the increase in the states’ share in Central taxes announced in the budget, he said.
He congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman for presenting an inclusive budget that cares for the common man, the poor, the middle class, women and the youth.
Since 2014, the country’s per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh due to the efforts of the government. In these nine years, the Indian economy has grown as the fifth largest economy in the world, he said.
The budget follows Prime Minister’s Modi’s Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas mantra, he said.
It is dedicated to inclusive growth, accords priority to the underprivileged, infrastructure and investment, capacity expansion, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector, Dhami said.
“The budget reflects the vision of Amrit Kaal. Its framework includes the development of all sections of the society from farmers, middle class to women.
“Keeping in view the food and nutritional security in the budget, the decision to extend supply of free food grains to all priority families for another year is highly commendable, “ Dhami said.
He also welcomed the extension of another year given in the budget to 50-year interest-free loan to the states.
The chief minister said the provision for creation of an agriculture fund will encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs.
In the next three years, 1 crore farmers will be assisted to adopt natural farming, he said.
Agriculture credit target will be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore with focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries. With this, farmers, horticulturists, cattle rearers and fishermen of Uttarakhand state will also benefit, the chief minister added.
The thrust to regional air connectivity and tourism in the budget will especially benefit Uttarakhand, he said.
Dhami said the increase in the income tax exemption limit has come as a big relief to the middle class.