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Union Budget Good For Punjab: Dharmendra Pradhan

Pradhan claimed that the current budget has been appreciated not only in the country, but across the world. It laid a thrust on infrastructure development through a record hike in capital expenditure, with an allocation of rs 10 lakh crore, he said.

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Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
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Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday countered Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann's remark that the state was ignored in the Union budget, saying said that it is good for the state with its thrust on 'waste-to-wealth' projects.

As he said this, Pradhan mentioned Rs 20 lakh crore agriculture credit for the financial year 2023-24 and efforts of the Narendra Modi government in promoting 'waste to energy' plants. "There is Rs 20 lakh crore priority sector lending (earmarked in the budget). Punjab is a state of farmers. Waste to energy, green economy, green energy … ," he said, when asked that Mann's dubbing of the budget " anti-Punjab". He said that one MLA met him and told him that his ethanol business had reached Rs 3,500 crore in Punjab.  

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"It is an achievement of the green energy of the Modi government. Punjab will take the maximum benefit," said the minister, who was here to participate in an intellectuals meet on the Union budget . Mann had on Wednesday slammed the Union government for presenting an "anti-Punjab, anti-people, anti-farmers and directionless budget." He had also said that after Republic Day, during which the state's tableau "was kept out of the parade," Punjab has now been "completely ignored" in the Union Budget.  

"It is shameful that going by its myopic mindset the Union government has completely ignored the state thereby bringing a huge disrespect to countless sacrifices made by the brave and hard working Punjabis in pre and post independent era," Mann had said.   Pradhan in his rebuttal to the charge highlighted the Union government's allocations towards 'waste to wealth' projects.  

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"Technology is available for turning stubble into energy. It can be used by power plants. It can be used to make ethanol and bio gas. For such green projects, funds have been earmarked in the budget. States like Punjab and Haryana will get maximum benefit," he said.   Pradhan, a Minister for Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, told reporters here that a sum of Rs 1.12 lakh crore had been allocated for the education sector in the Union Budget 2023-24 – nine per cent higher than the previous fiscal's.  

The government has also announced the development of  District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) as centres of excellence, he said, as he called the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday as "all-inclusive, people-centric and futuristic." He said that the first budget of the "amrit kaal" lays a strong foundation for a developed India and reflects Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to empower all, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Pradhan claimed that the current budget has been appreciated not only in the country, but across the world. It laid a thrust on infrastructure development through a record hike in capital expenditure, with an allocation of rs 10 lakh crore, he said.

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