RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh on Saturday presented a pro-village, pro-farmer and pro-poor budget with an outlay of Rs 83,096 crore for the fiscal year 2018-19. With an eye on the Assembly election due later this year, he didn’t propose any new tax.
Singh who also hold the finance portfolio stressed on welfare of farmers, development of agricultural sector, prosperity of labourers, poor and tribals, rural and infrastructure development.
Reiterating that Chhattisgarh has the lowest interest burden in the country and is able to maintain fiscal responsibility and budget management (FRBM), he increased the share for agriculture sector this year by 29 percent at Rs 13480 crore and allocated Rs 2518 crore for various irrigation schemes. For promotion of agricultural graduates to become entrepreneurs a new scheme called “Chalo Gaun Ki Or” (Let's move to villages) through agriculture university would be launched.
However the opposition Congress expressed happiness with the budget appearing “routine with lack of vision”. “The BJP might call their budget as populist but it shows lack of concern for the youths, their employment and urban masses”, Congress chief spokesperson Ramesh Varlyani said.
“The budget will boost prosperity and growth in Chhattisgarh”, agriculture minister Brijmohan Agrawal stated. The budget incorporated Rs 2770 crore under the Mukhyamantri Khadyan Sahayta Yojana that caters to the legal entitlement of food to poor families of the state. A big budget allocation of Rs 12472 crore has been made to school education. 129 schools will be upgraded from middle to high schools and 130 high schools to be upgraded to higher secondary schools. The total allocation for the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe component is Rs 20645 crore.
Singh has kept provision of Rs 9222 crore for rural development, Rs 7187 crore for public works department (PWD). For development of smart cities of Raipur, Bilaspur and Naya Raipur the state government has kept the allocation of Rs 418 crore and for Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) at Rs 431 crore. The total allocation for the youth is Rs 3894 crore.
On budget estimation for 2018-19 the total revenue is estimated to be Rs 72868 crore which includes central schemes assistance of Rs 15713 crore. State’s own revenue is estimated to be Rs 34200 crore which 9.88 percent higher than the last year. Gross fiscal deficit is estimated to be Rs 9997 crore in budget which is 2.69 percent of GSDP.