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Huge funds allocated to social schemes: Arun Jaitley
From the Web Desk, 12/02/2018, New Delhi


Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday refuted allegations of the ruling Left Front in Tripura, which has called the Budget "anti-poor and middle class", by arguing that the Budget has proposed a healthcare scheme for 10 crore families and provided huge relief to farmers. 

Jaitley, who was in the Tripura capital to launch the BJP's 'vision document' ahead of the assembly polls in the state, said: "My Budget has provided relief to the salaried class. They and the pensioners have been provided relief to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore." Rubbishing allegations that the BJP-led NDA has cut finances to Tripura, Jaitley said that funds are allocated by the Finance Commission, depending upon local resources. 

"There is no personal choice in allocating funds to the states - it follows a system," he said. "The Government of India has allocated huge funds to social sector schemes and will spend close to Rs 1,70,000 crore on the right to food," said Jaitley. 

He also promised to bring educational infrastructure, medical facilities and said the selection process for government jobs will be made fair and transparent. Jaitley also defended demonetisation and the goods and services tax, arguing that post demonetisation, there has been an unprecedented revenue buoyancy. 

"Tax base has increased, and GST has been established. We are expecting growth to be around 19-20%, surpassing last year's 15%," he said. The finance minister said that tax evasion is getting checked. 

Stating that Tripura's elections are important for the BJP's expansion plans in the North-east, Jaitley said his party was growing in the region with the help of regional parties. The finance minister said that the people of Tripura were fed up with ruling Left Front, which has been creating fear. "In Tripura, people are revolting against the traditional political parties ruling the state," he said. The finance minister also said that there was massive anti-incumbency against the state's Left Front government. 

"The Left's idioms and attitude towards private sector have kept away private investments from the state," he said. "We have seen how the Left was crushed in West Bengal, and it is now struggling for the third-fourth position." Tripura goes to the polls on February 18. 

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