The government led by Amarinder Singh in the Punjab on Monday presented its latest budget with a total size of Rs. 1 68,015 crore for 2021-2022, devoting most of its provisions to agriculture, urban development, resources in water, health and other sectors.
Dedicating the state budget to farmers protesting the Center’s three agricultural laws, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal has decided not to levy new taxes in the state which will be submitted to the Assembly’s ballot box early. next year.
Announcing the next phase of the Congressionally-led government flagship program, the “Crop Loan Waiver Program”, Badal announced an allocation of Rs 1,712 crore in which Rs 1,186 crore of 1.13 lakh from farmers. and Rs 526 crore of landless farm workers will be canceled.
Already, the state government has granted debt relief of Rs 4,624 crore to 5.83 lakh from small marginal producers.
Among the main budget proposals, Badal announced the implementation of the recommendations of the Sixth Wages Commission for government employees from July and a program of 3,780 crore rupees – ‘Kamyaab Kisan Khushaal Punjab’ for farmers .
The budget also proposed another dose of agricultural loan waiver, Rs 200 crore for the crop diversification program, the doubling of the old age pension and the increase in the amount under the Ashirwad program and employment for young people.
With a speech complemented by a few verses, Badal also announced a free travel facility for women on the state-owned company buses in an “everyone” budget.
During the budget speech, two Akali Dal lawmakers, Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal and Dilraj Singh Bhundar, organized a walkout from the House to “offer nothing” to farmers who commit suicide.
After some time, AAP lawmakers also broke into the House well and staged a walkout against “rising” state debt.
In an announcement to state government employees demanding payment of their arrears, Badal said a provision of Rs 9,000 crore had been budgeted for the Punjab’s Sixth Compensation Commission.
Expecting the upcoming submission of the Wages Commission report, Badal said the recommendations of the wages panel will be implemented from July 1 of this year.
“I am also announcing to pay arrears, if any, in installments with the first installment paid in October 2021 and the second installment in January 2022,” Badal said in his speech.
Declaring that the welfare and prosperity of farmers was the central theme of the congressional-led government, Badal announced a new “Kamyaab Kisan Khushaal Punjab” program worth Rs 3,780 crore, aimed at improving incomes farmers.
Under this program, some key initiatives are proposed such as the setting of the base price for horticultural crops and the payment of the deficiency price as compensation, two new programs to mitigate the risks of producers, a research center and information on agricultural marketing innovation to help farmers achieve better returns through marketing intelligence reports, etc., Badal said.
As this program is to be implemented over the next three years, an expenditure of Rs 1,104 crore has been proposed for 2021-2022.
An amount of Rs 7,180 crore was provided as a free subsidy to farmers. In the past four years, the state government had granted free power worth Rs 23,851 crore, Badal said.
The Minister also announced the increase in the old age pension from Rs 750 per month to Rs 1,500 per month and the increase in the amount under the Ashirwad scheme from Rs 21,000 to Rs 51,000 and will be implemented from July.
Under the Ashirwad regime, financial assistance is provided for the marriage of women from listed castes, daughters of widows of any caste and SC widows. Both of these were part of the Congress ballot promises before coming to power in 2017. In the budget, Badal said the state government intends to gradually recruit vacancies for a lakh. “The government will fill 48,989 positions in the first phase and complete the remaining recruitments according to the vacant position available in 2021-2022,” he said.
So far, the state government has been able to facilitate employment for 16.29 lakh youth so far and aims to facilitate employment for another 10 lakh youth next year for whom the Budget allocation of Rs 428 crore has been made, he said.
To promote the Punjabi language, Badal also proposed to double the prize money from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh for the Punjabi Sahit Ratan Award and from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for the Shiromani prize awarded to various writers, poets , musicians, journalists, etc. .
In tribute to the freedom fighters, the FM also proposed to increase the monthly pension from Rs 7,500 to Rs 9,400. Giving a boost to urban development, a 68 percent increase in the allocation for urban infrastructure at Rs 7,192 crore was made for the next fiscal year.
Rs 3,822 crore has been set aside for strengthening health infrastructure, Badal said, adding that the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the importance of health infrastructure and related services. .
A 40 percent increase in the allocation for water resources to Rs 3,214 crore was made as the state government pledged to increase the canal water facility.
Badal has proposed a revenue deficit of Rs 8,622 crore and a budget deficit of Rs 24,240 crore for the next fiscal year.
Regarding the outstanding debt, Badal said the debt is expected to rise to Rs 2,773,703 crore by the end of March 2022, compared to Rs 252,880 crore for March 2021.
He said he tried to limit borrowing to 4 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.
Badal criticized the Center for Agricultural Laws and said he was spending “this budget on Indian farmers and praising their inspiring struggle which is already on the way to legendary status.” PTI CHS VSD ANU ANU
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)