By: Hema D
Shimla: Himachal Pradesh (HP) has finally landed itself the best gift in this election year, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), a Central University and construction of Bhannupali-Bilaspur broad-guage railway line. Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced this in Shimla yesterday, while launching the Aam Admi Bima Yojana.
Chidambaram said that the Central University announced for HP would be completely funded by the centre. Later Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the state would make an effort to complete the broad-gauge rail line within two years. A few families belonging to nearby areas of Shimla were allotted the certificates of this scheme, which would ensure death and disability cover for the poor and landless people. According to government’s projections there are about 38000 beneficiaries of the Bima Yojana in Himachal.
Launching the scheme on the historic Ridge ground, as Chidambaram lauded the state’s administrative abilities the crowd of over 9,000 broke into cheers for Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. “The UPA government has spent the last three years in building its economic muscles and now the country is in a position to launch such welfare schemes for the poor population”, said Chidambaram while addressing the huge gathering.
He said some parties ridicule the party for its financial management but they must know that now every section of the society is shining, “Economic growth and social security now are going to go hand in hand”. Elaborating on the fiscal prudence and economic discipline adopted by the UPA during its present regime, he said, “Before we came to power, in the year 2003-04, Rs 7000 crore were being spent on health programmes and now we are spending Rs 14,300 crore on the same. Similarly Rs 7,000 crore were being spent on education and now we are spending Rs 28, 600 crores on this sector.”