CPI-M protests in Tripura against union budget

Agartala, Feb 27 (Calcutta Tube) Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists Saturday organised demonstrations across Tripura, protesting against the ‘deprivation of the northeastern region in the central budget’.

The CPI-M and its frontal organisations, including youth wing Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), organised protest rallies across the Left-ruled northeast state.

DYFI Tripura unit president Tapas Datta told IANS: ‘The protest demonstrations and rallies would continue till Sunday. The state committee of DYFI would hold an emergency meeting Monday to chalk out a stronger agitation against the union budget.’

In the union budget, the expenditure for development of the northeast region has been raised to Rs.1,760 crore for 2010-11, up 19 percent from the Rs.1,475.21 crore revised estimates of the current fiscal.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the budget presented in the Lok Sabha Friday proposed Rs.1,114 crore for development of rural roads, including bridges in the northeast region.

In a protest rally in Agartala, CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar said: ‘Rates of subsidies in different sectors, including food grains and fertilisers, are being lowered.’

‘The union budget for the coming fiscal is only to crush the poor and to help the affluent people. The United Progressive Alliance (central) government wants to handover the profit-making public sector undertakings only to damage these bodies,’ said Dhar, who is also a CPI-M central committee member.

Terming the general budget ‘anti-people,’ Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury said it has largely neglected the northeast region.

‘Doing a serious injustice to the northeast region, almost the similar amount (as of last fiscal) has been allocated to the region, which is economically weak,’ Chowdhury told reporters.

The CPI-M leader accused the UPA government of not providing job opportunities for unemployed educated youths, farmers and poor people.

‘Inflation will rise, (there were) no measures (in the budget) to check price rise and poor people will suffer more. Foreign investment in different sectors would increase,’ the minister observed.

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