Support for important local infrastructure projects, changes to student assistance to make attending the Nova Scotia Agricultural College more affordable, and help for local farmers are some of the highlights for Colchester County in the provincial budget today, April 5th. “This budget invests in health care, growing the economy, helping people make ends meet, all while ensuring government lives within its means,” said Graham Steele, Minister of Finance. “We still have a difficult financial situation to address, but this budget shows that we are on target to balance in 2013, as promised.” Highlights for Colchester County in today’s budget include: investing $42.5 million to help make post-secondary education more affordable opening at least four new Collaborative Emergency Centres this year providing tax breaks, such as an increase in the basic personal amount by $250 reducing departmental spending by $170 million investing $28 million to improve business productivity providing $7.9 million to low-income families to help make ends meet. changes to student assistance that will make attending Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and Nova Scotia universities, more affordable for families continued support for building the $184.6-million Colchester East Hants Health Centre in Truro funding for an MRI at the new health centre continued and stable funding support for Colchester-East Hants Regional Library helping Colchester County entrepreneurs by reducing the small business tax to four per cent from 4.5 per cent, the second consecutive year it has declined an enhanced soil amendment program for local farmers implementing the Homegrown Success agricultural plan funding improvements at the Atlantic Centre for Agricultural Innovation Building and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College Poultry Facilities repaving sections of Highway 101 and 102, replacing Shubenacadie River Bridge and other road upgrade and paving projects; and funding to build the new Bible Hill Elementary School and improvements to Ecole Acadienne de Truro and other area schools. For more information on the 2011-12 provincial budget, visit www.gov.ns.ca Total revenues for 2011-12, including net income from government business enterprises, are estimated at $8.5 billion, a decrease of $133 million over the 2010-11 estimates. The 2011 budget projects a deficit of $389.6 million. This is in line with the $370-million deficit anticipated in the province’s four-year fiscal plan. Total expenses for fiscal 2011-12 are budgeted at $9.3 billion, up $323.0 million from 2010-11, entirely because of reinstating university funding. Today’s budget also includes:
New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi turned 49 on Wednesday and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first political leaders to greet him on his birthday.In his response, Gandhi thanked Modi and said he appreciated the prime minister’s greetings. A host of Congress leaders and workers also wished Gandhi, as he met many of them at the party headquarters here on Akbar Road. Some leaders also wished Gandhi in Parliament. Modi took to Twitter to convey his birthday wishes to Gandhi. “Best wishes to Shri Rahul Gandhi on his birthday. May he be blessed with good health and a long life,” he tweeted. Gandhi replied on Twitter, saying, “Thank you for your greetings narendramodi ji. I appreciate them.” Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in HaryanaThe two leaders were locked in a bitter war of words in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, in which the BJP-led NDA returned to power with a massive majority. Gandhi earlier met his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence and later arrived at around 10 AM at the Congress headquarters where party leaders and workers gathered in large numbers to wish him. Gandhi received flowers from his partymen and offered them sweets. Among those who wished him at the AICC office were former prime minister Manmohan Singh, his sister and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad. “Thank you all for your best wishes and greetings on my birthday. I’m overwhelmed and grateful for your love and affection,” he later tweeted and posted some pictures on the micro-blogging site of him meeting the party leaders and workers. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahCalling Gandhi his “good friend”, DMK chief M K Stalin took to Twitter to extend his birthday wishes. Stalin also shared a photo of him shaking hands with Gandhi at a meeting in the past. “I wish my good friend @RahulGandhi a very happy birthday. I wish you many more years of public service. #HappyBirthdayRahulGandhi,” the DMK chief tweeted. The DMK and the Congress joined hands in February this year to contest the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry as allies. Stalin had even proposed Gandhi’s name as the Opposition’s Prime Ministerial candidate ahead of the polls, but the idea did not cut much ice with Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. Gandhi, who was in a joyous mood, shared some light moments with the workers and media persons at the party headquarters. He also offered sweets to those wishing him on his birthday. Party leaders said no cake was cut and the celebrations were low key in view of the death of over 100 children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Bihar. However, youth Congress workers had put up many hoardings of Gandhi at the party office and elsewhere in the capital. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wished Gandhi good health and a long life. “Wish you a very happy birthday, dear @RahulGandhi. Proud of who you have become over the years; I see my dear friend (late) Rajiv (Gandhi) in you,” Singh tweeted. “May God bless you with a long, healthy and prosperous life,” the chief minister added.