Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday presented a state budget of Rs 1.96 crore for 2023-24 with focus on agriculture, education and health segments.
Addressing the Assembly, Harpal Cheema said that education, health and agriculture are among the priority sectors for the government.
The total budget for 2023-2024 has increased by 26 percent to Rs 1,96,462 crore compared to the previous year, the state finance minister said.
This is the first full budget of the AAP government.
After coming to power in March 2022, the AAP government first passed the poll report on March 22 and then presented its budget for the rest of the year in June.
The finance minister has proposed an allocation of Rs 13,888 crore for agriculture and allied sector, which is 20 per cent higher. The government will soon come out with a new agricultural policy, for which a committee of experts has been formed, he said.
1000 million tenge was allocated for the diversification of agricultural crops. A revolving fund for the purchase of Basmati crops has also been established, he said.
The government has decided to launch a crop insurance scheme – Bhaav Antar Bhugtan Yojana – to reduce the risk.
According to Harpal Singh Cheema, Rs 125 crore has been allocated for direct sowing in procurement of paddy and moon crops.
On the issue of conscious burning, Harpal Singh Cheema said there has been a 30 percent reduction in straw burning incidents.
According to Cheema, a free power subsidy of Rs 9,331 crore has been provided for the farm sector for 2023-24.
On the health front, he said that 10.50 lakh people have been treated so far in the ‘Aam Aadmi Clinics’ in the state. He said that the Bhagwant Mann government has provided 26,797 jobs so far.
Effective revenue deficit and budget deficit were set at the level of 3.32 and 4.98 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), respectively.
An amount of Rs 74,620 crore has been proposed for committed expenditure, which is 12 per cent higher than FY 2022-23.
Effective capital expenditure was pegged at Rs 11,782 crore, an increase of 22 per cent over the previous fiscal.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published on a syndicated channel.)
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