CHANDIGARH: A revenue deficit budget of Rs 41,440 crore for the next fiscal was tabled in the Himachal Pradesh assembly today which also launched a book donation scheme for government schools.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur who also holds the finance portfolio presented the budget in the assembly and also launched a book donation scheme for the government schools. In his maiden over two and a half hours budget speech in Hindi. "The students spend a lot of money on purchase of new text books. At the same time the students once pass a class throw the books and buy the new books for the next year. Now I propose that in all government schools the next day immediately after the completion of the exams will be held as a Book Donation Day," he said.
That day students of higher class will hand over books to lower class, helping the students to reduce their cost of purchase of books. Reducing the load of school bags, Thakur said the government would declare one day every month as gag-free day in every school and that is fully devoted for co-curricular activities.
A Climate Change Adaption Demonstration Project in two districts under the Climate Change Adaptation programme would be launched. The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment will be carried out, covering 7,000 villages in 1,200 panchayats in the Beas river basin in Kullu, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra districts. As the hill state, is facing impacts of climate change.
He announced to levy a cess of Re 1 per bottle of liquor to meet out the operational expenditure of an ambulance service and state expects to get Rs 8 crore per annum.
Thakur announced that all ministers would regularly organise Jan Manch or public forums in remote areas of every district to solve the problems of the people.
He launched 28 schemes with emphasis on education, women empowerment, job creation and tourism with a focus on strengthening agriculture and horticulture sectors by promising to double the income of farmers by 2022.
The total budget expenditure estimated for 2018-19 is Rs 41,440 crore, out of which the estimated expenditure on salaries is Rs 11,263 crore and pensions Rs 5,893 crore. As per budget estimates, the total revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 30,400 crore and the total revenue expenditure is estimated to be Rs 33,568 crore with a revenue deficit of Rs 3,168 crore. The expected receipts in capital account of the government are Rs 6,540 crore, apart from Rs 1,225 crore in public account, including provident fund.
The estimated interest payments would be Rs 4,260 crore and loan payments are expected to be Rs 3,184 crore, apart from Rs 448 crore on other loans and Rs 2,741 crore on maintenance. The capital expenditure, including loan repayments, is estimated to be Rs 7,872 crore. The fiscal deficit for 2018-19 is likely to be Rs 7,821 crore.