In view of soaring petrol and diesel prices, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday asked its senior alliance partner BJP to ensure citizens have a stable life even if it cannot bring “acche din” (good days) for them.Details of rising fuel prices in the NDA government’s tenure should also be displayed along with the PM’s photos in the petrol pumps, the Sena said. Petrol prices crossed the ₹78 per litre mark in Delhi for the first time on Tuesday in more than two-and-half months, while diesel was going at ₹69.61 per litre. ‘Acche Din’ was the slogan used by Mr. Modi during the Lok Sabha poll campaign in 2014.“The government has not been able to control the surge in fuel prices. When prices touched an all-time high recently, the Centre intervened. But the public’s happiness was short-lived as prices shot up again,” the Sena said in an editorial written in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana.The government has clarified that fuel prices will not be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), so inexpensive petrol and diesel “will remain a dream”, it said.“What is acche din? People being able to satisfy their needs with minimum money and having spare money with them. Their lives should be stable and their living standards should rise. Of these, what has the government provided in the last four years?” the Sena sought to know.Stating that a few months are left before Mr. Modi’s tenure ends, the Sena asked why the prime minister could not provide stability to the people by reducing fuel prices.“Forget acche din, at least provide stability to the people,” said the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government on Wednesday tabled an interim Budget targeted at boosting its popularity among urban voters ahead of Lok Sabha elections in just over a month. The ₹19,784-crore deficit Budget for 2019-20 focusses on the delivery of big-ticket infrastructure projects at the rich expense of ballooning fiscal deficit, and debt. The total outlay of ₹99,000 crore, includes funds for construction of Metros, roads, transportation, mobility schemes and housing in urban areas. In his 75-minute speech, State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar refrained from announcing any new projects, but focused only on providing money to projects already in progress. The Opposition was quick to term his effort ‘disappointing’, arguing it neither caters to the farmers nor the urban population.Metro projectsMr. Mungantiwar said the government is determined to complete Metro projects in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and other cities speedily. “In Mumbai, approval has been given to MMRDA for a plan of 276 km Metro route length. Therefore an ambitious decision has been taken by the government to extend the Metro network to Thane, Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar, Kalyan-Dombivli and Bhiwandi,” he said. Apart from Nagpur, Pune and Navi Mumbai where 141.06 km Metro route will be constructed, preliminary survey for light rail transport system is being undertaken for Nashik city as well. Giving a pushing to boosting road infrastructure, Mr. Mungantiwar has proposed an outlay of ₹8,500 crore for road construction in the State, in addition to ₹1,105 crore under Central Road Fund Scheme. Last year, ₹10,828 crore were allocated for road construction.An outlay of ₹3,700 crore has been proposed for the hybrid annuity model, the same as last year’s provision. The finance minister also announced the beginning of construction of Mumbai-Nagpur express highway and said that ₹700 crore has been spent on land acquisition. The Budget has proposed modernisation of State Transport bus stations and purchase of new buses, for which ₹101 crore has been earmarked.Addressing the issue of industrial growth and employment, Mr. Mungantiwar claimed that the State has created 25.60 lakh employments in the last one year. He said the new IT policy is likely to attract an investment of ₹1,500 crore and create one lakh jobs.“Under the electronic policy, ₹6,300 crore investment is expected and 12,000 jobs are likely to be generated,” he said, giving credit to Make in India and Magnetic Maharashtra convergence summits. Investments of ₹7,500 cr. and ₹7,000 cr. are expected from space and defence material manufacturing policy, and the eco-friendly electric vehicle manufacturing policy respectively. An outlay of ₹65 crore is proposed for the Industrial Cluster Development Program, he said. The Minister proposed an outlay of ₹6,895 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), a substantial increase from last year’s ₹2,215.85 crore. Similarly, an outlay of ₹2,400 crore has been proposed for smart cities project and for Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation for development of basic facilities such as water supply in urban areas, sewerage and green belts.
Plastic pipes and vehicles outside a State infrastructure agency godown here were set ablaze on Sunday, a day after farmers clashed with police demanding adequate compensation for their land that was acquired for an upcoming township by the agency. The incident took place around 11 a.m. outside the godown of the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA) which acquired the land for the Trans-Ganga City project near Kanpur, officials said. “Some anti-social elements had set fire to plastic pipes kept outside the godown. Apart from this, two vehicles were also set afire,” Additional District Magistrate Rakesh Singh said. “No farmer has so far claimed responsibility for Sunday’s act, which means that the work has been done by anti-social elements,” District Magistrate Devendra Kumar Pandey said. On Saturday, farmers demanding better compensation for their land clashed with the police when government officials visited the project site to clear the encroachment. Several farmers were injured as the police baton-charged them, used tear gas and water cannons. Many police personnel were also injured as the protesters targeted them with stones. Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Kisan Manch, a forum working for welfare of farmers, claimed that the growers were not indulging in violent protests and were only demanding adequate compensation for their land. “Nearly 30% of the farmers of the clash-hit area are yet to get compensation from the government,” RKM president Shekhar Dixit said on Sunday. The district magistrate, however, had said on Saturday that the farmers were adequately compensated.Priyanka tweetCongress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra shared a 22-second-long video of the clash on Twitter. “UP Chief Minister is making big speeches in Gorakhpur, but see the condition of his police. A farmer in Unnao is lying semi-conscious after being beaten by laathi (stick). He is still being beaten up. There should be some shame. A person who grows grains for you is subjected to such cruelty,” she tweeted.