CHANDIGARH: Eyeing the elections in the state which will be due in two years, the Punjab government has started dolling out sops. From reducing the retirement age of government employees from 60 to 58 years, to making education in government schools free of cost up to Class 12, to providing sanitary napkins for girls, the list goes on.
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday presented Rs 1,54,805 crore budget for 2020-21 in the state assembly.
“With reducing the retirement age, we will be able to make way for the young. The decision will be implemented in two phases. Those who have turned 59 would retire on March 31 this year and those who are 58 will retire from September 30,” he said.
Badal announced 6 per cent dearness allowance for state government employees from March and said it would involve financial implication of Rs1,000 crore.
The government will also implement the 6th Pay Commission recommendations in 2020-21 and for the same, for which Rs4,000 crore has been earmarked in the budget, he said.
He also said that the government has decided to grant free education to all students up to Class 12 and proposes to build 4,150 classrooms by spending Rs 100 crore. He said at Rs 13,092 crore, the highest allocation in the budget was granted to the education sector.
Besides setting up of the Armed Forces Preparatory Institute at Hoshiarpur with a budget outlay of Rs11 crore.
The government has also earmarked Rs 2,000 crore for farm loan waiver, including Rs 520 crore for waiving loans of landless and farmworkers. Also to set up the Agricultural Marketing Innovation Research and Intelligence Centre (AMIRIC) at Mohali.
He announced Rs8257 for free power for farmers and Rs2,267 crore will be allocated for subsidised power to the industry in the next financial year. An allocation of Rs12,526 crore was granted to the Agriculture sector and Rs4,675 crore for the health sector.