Guwahati, Feb 12 (PTI) Opposition parties in Assam criticised the state's budget for the fiscal 2024-25, claiming it lacked innovation and was focused only on creating beneficiaries rather than sustainable development of the state.

The ruling BJP, however, termed it a step towards building a self-reliant Assam and further strengthening the state's financial position.

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Finance Minister Ajanta Neog presented a Rs 774.47 crore deficit budget for the next financial year and proposed no new tax on people ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Deputy Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Rakibul Hussain, questioned the government for not presenting any report on the implementation of previously announced schemes.

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"A white paper on the progress of implementation of announcements made in the previous budgets was necessary," the Congress leader said.

Congress legislator Jakir Hussain Sikdar maintained that there was no model proposed for the sustainable development of the state.

"People of the state will be depressed with this budget. They will not be satisfied. It is not development-oriented and has nothing for sustainable development," he asserted.

Sikdar claimed the budget did not have anything new to offer, and also lacks mention of several old schemes.

Independent legislator Akhil Gogoi termed the budget as the "most routine one ever, lacking any innovation".

"There is not a single new thing in the budget. All the announcements included have already been spoken of by the chief minister earlier," he said.

Gogoi claimed that there was no proposal to develop infrastructure and make the state ready to meet the changing times.

"It is focused on only one thing and that is to create beneficiaries," the MLA claimed.

Meanwhile, BJP state president and MLA Bhabesh Kalita hailed the budget as a step towards building a self-reliant and prosperous Assam.

He maintained that the budget focused on inclusive development and development of infrastructure, like improved road network and schemes for women empowerment.

"This budget will help in strengthening the state's financial position further in the years to come," Kalita added.

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