Amidst the unveiling of the budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 in Gujarat, the leader of the Congress Party in the state assembly Amit Chavda launched scathing criticisms against the government's fiscal priorities. Pointing fingers squarely at the ruling BJP administration, the Congress leader highlighted a glaring disparity in resource allocation, particularly emphasizing the neglect of rural development and essential sectors like health and agriculture.
The leader of the Congress Party in the state assembly on Monday lambasted the Gujarat government, accusing it of prioritizing urban development at the expense of neglecting the rural areas. This accusation comes hot on the heels of the budget presentation for the year 2024-25 by Finance Minister Kanu Desai, which unveiled a disconcerting vision for the future of the state.
Expressing deep concern, the Congress leader Chavda highlighted the Finance Minister's projection that by 2047, a staggering 75% of the population would be residing in urban areas. Such a forecast, as asserted, indicates a stark lack of intention from the government to address rural development issues. Drawing comparisons with national averages, it was revealed that Gujarat's budget allocation for rural development stands dismally low at 2.9%, far below the 5-6% norm seen in other states.
Agricultural sector faced similar neglect
Moreover, the agricultural sector, the backbone of rural livelihoods, faced similar neglect, with a mere 5% budget allocation in Gujarat compared to the more robust allocations seen in states like Chhattisgarh and Punjab. These revelations prompted accusations of long-standing injustice towards farmers by the BJP-led government.
Equally alarming was the revelation regarding health budget allocation, where Gujarat fell short of the national average, dedicating only 5.6% of its budget to healthcare compared to the 6.2% seen across the country. This glaring disparity raises concerns about the state's preparedness to tackle health crises and provide adequate healthcare services to its populace.
Chavda emphasised that the consequences of this neglect are dire, leading to an exacerbation of the already troubling trend of rural-to-urban migration. The unchecked influx into urban areas threatens to strain infrastructure, exacerbate pollution, and fuel unemployment, painting a grim picture for Gujarat's future.
The Congress called upon the Gujarat government to reassess its priorities and allocate resources more equitably to address the pressing needs of rural communities. Failure to do so, it was warned, would only exacerbate existing challenges and undermine the state's overall well-being.