Haryana government unveils budget; focus on education, health, agriculture

In his two-and-a-half hour speech in Hindi in the state Assembly here, CM Manohar Lal Khattar said the budget has been prepared with the focus on education, health, security and self-reliance.

Published: 28th February 2020 08:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2020 08:07 PM   |  A+A-

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khatar presents the state Budget for 2020-21

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khatar presents the state Budget for 2020-21. (Photo| Twitter/ @cmohry)


CHANDIGARH: The Haryana government on Friday presented a Rs 1.42 lakh crore budget for 2020-21, with a focus on education, health, agriculture and security. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who also holds the finance ministry portfolio, presented his maiden budget in the State Assembly here.

Presenting the budget estimates, the minister said under the Mukhya Mantri Saksham Chatravriti Yojana, scholarships have been hiked and students securing more than 80 per cent marks in Class 5th will be now provided Rs 6,000 in Class 6th, 7th and 8th as against Rs 1,500 earlier.

Free bicycles will be given to Dalit students of 9th and 11th classes in those villages which don't have secondary and senior secondary schools. In his marathon two-and-a-half hour speech in Hindi in the state Assembly here, Khattar said the budget has been prepared with the focus on education, health, security and self-reliance.

He also said he has incorporated 70 per cent suggestions he had received from various stakeholders including legislators during his over month-long pre-budget consultation exercise. To provide affordable housing, a new department 'Housing for All' will be created to cover all the existing schemes of housing and one lakh houses will be provided by 2022, he said.

Khattar, who is heading the BJP-JJP coalition government, which came to power in October last year, said, "we will start the implementation of the majority of the promises made in the 'Sankalp Patra' (manifestos) of both the parties (BJP and Jannayak Janata Party) and many of these will be completed through this first budget."

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Presenting the Rs 1,42,343.78 crore budget, an increase of 7.70 per cent over the previous one, he said the government has allocated Rs 5,474.25 crore to agriculture, Rs 19,343 crore to education and sports, Rs 6,533 crore to health and medical education, Rs 6,294 crore to rural development and panchayat, Rs 349 crore to industries and Rs 9,000 crore to pensions.

Haryana's economic growth rate is projected to be 7.75 per cent during the current fiscal while during the year 2019-20 on current prices, per capita income is estimated at Rs 2,64,207 which is almost double that of the national average, he said.

"It is a matter of great pride that we are able to keep the fiscal deficit within the 3 per cent limit of GDP as recommended by the 14th Finance Commission. Our total debt has also remained within the prescribed limit of 25 per cent of GDP," said Khattar.

The state debt is projected at nearly Rs 1.98 lakh crore. "We doubled capital expenditure to Rs 33,246.59 crore in 2018-19 as compared to the capital expenditure of Rs 16,654.76 crore in 2016-17," he said. Khattar said in this budget the government has merged 132 schemes into 46, abolished 18 schemes and included 6 schemes in other departments.

He asserted that the government is committed to the national goal of making agriculture futuristic and doubling farmers' income. "Under special category 'agriculture dependent activities' the power rates will be reduced from Rs 7.50 to Rs 4.75 per unit," he said.

Touching upon other initiatives in the education sector, he said all 1,487 government senior secondary schools where science faculty is available will be converted into smart schools in 2020-21. The Board Examination for class 8th will be started with the objective of increasing the academic level and learning outcomes of students from the academic session 2020-21.

To provide a safe environment for students studying in colleges, a provision has been made in the budget to install CCTV cameras for 24 hours surveillance in all colleges.

In the health sector, to ensure that sudden heart-related problems do not become fatal, sorbitrate tablets will be kept free in public places such as railway stations, bus stands, cereal markets etc. as a first aid. Khattar said the information of the pits on roads is being uploaded by the department officials and the general public on the 'Harpath App'.

While there is a provision for a fine of Rs 1,000 per pit daily on the contractor for not repairing within the time limit, Khattar said if the complaint is not resolved within 96 hours, the implementation of a scheme of giving Rs 100 as incentive, out of this fine, to the same complainant from April 1, will be started.

To bring the water of Ravi-Beas rivers to Haryana and for construction of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, an amount of Rs 100 crore will be spent during the upcoming fiscal. A new scheme called Atal Bhujal Yojana is being launched in 36 water-scarce blocks for water conservation in Haryana.

For Kashmiri migrants, the monthly financial help has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,250 per person. Among other initiatives, 5,000 EWS students of Haryana schools will be provided free coaching while old-age homes will be set up in all districts.

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