BHOPAL: Amidst protests against the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam, state Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya presented a populist state budget for 2014-15. The total outlay is Rs 1,17,040 crore, whereas the projected fiscal deficit is Rs 13,425 crore. The outlay for 2013-14 was Rs 91,946.86 crore.
Malaiya, during his maiden speech as the state FM, said the govt has decided to exempt from tax as many as 34 tools and machinery used in agriculture. He also announced the decision to abolish taxes on the transportation of tendu leaves.
The Opposition Congress reached the House in horse and ox-drawn carriages to protest against the hike in petrol and fuel prices that were announced on Monday. While attending the post-budget discussion they wore black headgear to mark their protest against the MPPEB scam.
The Opposition has been demanding a CBI or a SC-constituted Special Investigation Team probe into the scam. In the budget, the govt has allocated Rs 4,000 crore for various development schemes, Rs 22,413 crore for agriculture, Rs 4,438 crore for improving law and order situation, Rs 172 crore to boost tourism and Rs 120 crore for sports. The minister also announced opening of 40 new industrial training institutes in the state, besides metro rail in Bhopal and Indore.
CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted that the budgetary provisions reflected the government’s endeavour to achieve an all-round development of the state.
“Budget has gone up for agriculture by 19.15 per cent, for technical education and skill development by 40 per cent and for health by 55 per cent,” his tweet read.