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Punjab Budget 2023: Key Announcements by FM Harpal Singh Cheema

Punjab's Finance Minister presented a state budget of Rs 1,96,462 crore, marking a 26% increase over the previous year, with a focus on agriculture, education, and health segments.

Edited By: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: March 10, 2023 15:57 IST
Punjab Budget 2023
Image Source : BHAGWANT MANN TWITTER Punjab Budget 2023: Key Announcements by FM Harpal Singh Cheema

Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema presented the state budget for 2023-24 with a total budget size of Rs 1,96,462 crore, marking a 26 percent increase over the previous year. The budget mainly focuses on agriculture, education, and health segments. This is the first full budget of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government after coming to power in March 2022.

The Finance Minister proposed a budget of Rs 13,888 crore for the agriculture and allied sector, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. He added that the government will soon come out with a new agriculture policy and has formed a committee of experts for the purpose. A sum of Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for crop diversification, and a revolving fund for Basmati crop purchase has been set up. The government has also decided to launch a risk mitigation crop insurance scheme called the Bhaav Antar Bhugtan Yojana.

Regarding stubble burning, Cheema said that there has been a 30 percent reduction in incidents. To support the farming sector, a free power subsidy of Rs 9,331 crore has been earmarked for 2023-24, and Rs 125 crore has been allocated for direct sowing of paddy and moong crop purchase. On the health front, Cheema stated that 10.50 lakh people have been treated in ‘Aam Aadmi Clinics’ in the state so far. The Bhagwant Mann government has also given 26,797 jobs.

The budget proposes an allocation of Rs 18 crore for Pre-Matric scholarships for OBC students and Rs 60 crore for SC students in 2023-24. Additionally, Rs 35 crore is proposed for the construction, up-gradation, and strengthening of sports infrastructure in 2023-24.

The government has released Rs 36 crore in 2022-23 for the construction of 11 new colleges in the state. For strengthening and upgrading the Urdu Academy in Malerkotla, an allocation of Rs 2 crore is proposed for the next fiscal. The budget proposes a total of Rs 74,620 crore towards the committed expenditure, a 12 percent jump compared to FY 2022-23. Effective capital expenditure is pegged at Rs 11,782 crore, a 22 percent increase over the previous fiscal.

The budget also aims to address environmental concerns, as the Finance Minister proposed a Green Budget and a Clean Air Action Plan. The Clean Air Action Plan is a five-year project that aims to reduce pollution levels in the state by 50 percent. The budget received mixed responses from opposition parties, with some praising the government's efforts to support the agriculture and health sectors, while others criticized the lack of focus on employment generation.

FAQs:

1. What are the main highlights of Punjab's state budget for 2023-24?

The state budget for 2023-24 proposes a total budget size of Rs 1,96,462 crore, marking a 26% increase over the previous year, with a focus on agriculture, education, and health segments. It includes a free power subsidy for the farming sector, allocation for crop diversification, Pre-Matric scholarships, and a Clean Air Action Plan.

2. What is the Clean Air Action Plan proposed in Punjab's state budget for 2023-24?
The Clean Air Action Plan proposed in Punjab's state budget for 2023-24 is a five-year project that aims to reduce pollution levels in the state by 50%. It is a part of the government's efforts to address environmental concerns and promote a green budget.

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