Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday hailed the Union Budget 2017 as “one of the best and inclusive till date” which will particularly boost infrastructural and economic growth of the country, including that of the north-eastern states. He appreciated the “visionary” leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for advancing the budget presentation to February 1 to enable Parliament to avoid a Vote on Account and pass a single Appropriation Bill for 2017-18 before the close of the current financial year and departments to implement schemes and projects right from the start of the next financial year.
Another “historic” step was the merger of the Railway Budget with the General Budget, Khandu said. This, he said, would facilitate multi-modal transport planning between the railways, highways and inland waterways, an official release said. “The most significant change brought by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget, however, is doing away with the plan and non-plan classification of expenditure,” the chief minister said.
Expressing optimism that north-east in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular will surely benefit from some of the announcements, one of them being the allocation of a whopping amount of Rs 19,000 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) for this fiscal.
Together with the contribution of the states, an amount of Rs 27,000 crore would be spent on PMGSY in 2017-18. “To accelerate development in our state, connectivity is of utmost importance. “Enhanced budgetary allocation for PMGSY as well as the increased allocation of Rs 64,900 crores from Rs 57,976 crores last year for highways is a welcome one,” Khandu said.