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Chhattisgarh hikes police funds to fight insurgency

Raipur, Feb 22 (Calcutta Tube) Chhattisgarh government Monday made a steep hike of nearly 17 percent for police department budget for fiscal year 2010-11 to combat Maoist militancy.

Presenting a Rs.24,685.43-crore annual outlay in the assembly, Chief Minister Raman Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, said: ‘Chhattisgarh is committed to combat Maoist violence and the police budget has been increased to Rs.1,140.15 crore from Rs.977.20 crore, an exactly 16.68 percent hike compared to 2009-10.’

‘The basic intent for increasing budget for the police department is to strongly combat Maoist violence,’ Singh told reporters soon after presenting the budget amid repeated interuptions by the opposition Congress members.

He announced that the government would focus on setting up new and upgrading existing police stations in insurgency-riddled pockets.

Singh announced in his budget that kerosene stove, fried and roasted grams would be now tax-free while fly-ash bricks have been exempted from entry tax to encourage usage of these bricks. Value Added Tax (VAT) on cooked food items has been reduced to 5 percent from 14 percent.

He also announced that ‘to encourage the cinema industry in the interest of the public, entertainment tax on cinema tickets up to Rs.50 would be exempted from entertainment tax’.

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