Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema presented a Rs 1.96-lakh-crore state budget for 2023-24 in the assembly here on Friday with a focus on agriculture, education and health segments.
Speaking in the Assembly, Harpal Cheema said education, health, and agriculture are among the priority sectors for the government.
Total budget size has been increased by 26 per cent to Rs 1,96,462 crore for 2023-24 over the previous year, the state finance minister said.
It is the first full budget of the AAP government.
After coming to power in March 2022, the AAP government first passed a vote-on account on March 22 and then it presented its budget in June for the remaining part of the year.
The Finance Minister proposed Rs 13,888 crore for agriculture and allied sector, up by 20 per cent. The government will soon come out with a new agriculture policy for which a committee of experts have been formed for the purpose, he said.
A sum of Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for crop diversification. A revolving fund for Basmati crop purchase has also been set up, he said.
The government has decided to launch a risk mitigation crop insurance scheme–Bhaav Antar Bhugtan Yojana.
Mr Cheema said that Rs 125 crore has been allocated for direct sowing of paddy and moong crop purchase.
On the stubble burning issue, Cheema said that there has been a drop of 30 per cent in stubble burning incidents.
Mr Cheema said that a free power subsidy of Rs 9,331 crore for the farm sector has been earmarked for 2023-24.
On the health sector, he said 10.50 lakh people have been treated in ‘Aam Aadmi Clinics’ in the state so far. He said 26,797 jobs have been given so far by the Bhagwant Mann government.
The effective revenue deficit and fiscal deficit have been pegged at 3.32 per cent and 4.98 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) respectively.
A sum of Rs 74,620 crore has been proposed towards the committed expenditure, a jump of 12 per cent in comparison to FY 2022-23.
Effective capital expenditure is pegged at Rs 11,782 crore, an increase of 22 per cent in comparison to the previous fiscal.
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