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     Raipur, February 11, 2009: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh today said, unlike the previous governments, his budget for 2009-2010 was for the 90 per cent population of the state.

     Replying to a discussion on the budget by 34 MLAs from BJP, Congress and BSP, the Chief Minister told the state assembly previously two per cent people were only waiting for the budget as there were tax exemptions for them or for the two per cent industrialists.

     However, he had changed the trend and his budget was for the 90 per cent population of the state, Singh said.

    The new budget is for the 37 lakh poor, who would get Re 1 or Rs 2 per kg rice, 57 lakh children, who would get a proper mid day meal in their schools, or 8 lakh farmers who would get RS 880 crore as bonus for their paddy among others, he said.

     Underlining the importance to give priority to the Agriculture sector in Chhattisgarh, the Chief Minister said about 80 per cent of the population are dependent on agriculture in the state where as their contribution to the Gross State Domestic Product was only 19 per cent. This figure had to be increased if the condition of the farmers and the state is to be improved, he added.

      Picking up another point of the Opposition, Singh said the state does not need to open any new school as it has reached a saturation level.

     About 54 lakh children or 25 per cent of the total population are in schools, of them 34 per cent are tribals, which are also two per cent more than their actual percentage of population, he said.

     Referring to the naxal menace, Singh said bullet is not the solution to any problems; hence the Maoists should shun violence and help accelerate developmental works in far off areas.

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