Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Chouhan packs a slew of populist schemes in Budget

With assembly polls just nine months away, the budget proposed allocation of Rs 358 crore for developing religious circuits/corridors, on the lines of Ujjain’s Mahakal Lok.

Published: 02nd March 2023 09:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2023 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL:  The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday presented in the Vidhan Sabha. At Rs 3,14,025-crore, it is the biggest ever budget for the state. The last full-fledged budget of the present BJP regime is incidentally the first paperless budget of the state. At Rs 3,14,025 lakh crore, the total appropriation is 12.5 per cent higher than the previous year’s budgetary appropriation of Rs 2,79,237 crore.

With an eye on polls, no fresh tax was imposed in the budget, for the second year in row. The poll-year budget emerged as a women centric one, with around Rs 1,02,976 crore (33 per cent) of the total budgetary allocation proposed for the ‘Nari Shakti.’ It included Rs 8,000 crore for the ambitious Mukyamantri Laadli Bahana Yojana. The scheme offers Rs 1,000 a month to financially weak women. It is seen as a sort of game-changer for the BJP in the election year. Congress has promised a monthly support of Rs 1,500 for women if the party is voted to power.

Finance minister Jagdish Devda has proposed no new tax in the budget. While stating that the state’s gross domestic product grew 16.43 per cent in 2022-23, Devda said the state’s contribution to the country’s GDP has increased from 3.6 per cent to 4.8 cent in a decade.

The total revenue expenditure increased 13 per cent from Rs 1,98,916 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 2,25,297 for 2023-24. Total capital expenditure increased 15 per cent from Rs 48,800 crore in 2022-23 to Rs 56,256 crore in 2023-24. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “The 2023-24 budget focuses on welfare of poor, empowerment of girls and women, besides committing for raising the income of farmers. 

It’s an all-inclusive people’s budget, particularly as it has been drafted after going through the 4,000 public suggestions.”He enlisted schemes such as Mukyamantri Kaushal Apprenticeship Scheme, which would benefit one lakh youth by preparing them as per requirement of the industry, and the Mukyamantri Balika Scooty Yojana, which with budgetary support of Rs 25 crore entails provision of giving electric scooter to Class XII girls topper in every government school.

He also emphasised on the Global Skills Park coming up in Bhopal and four similar skill development centres planned after that in Rewa, Gwalior, Sagar and Jabalpur.  “A total Rs 53,964 crore has been allocated for boosting agriculture and allied activities. It includes Rs 350 crore for enabling the state to take up responsibility of paying interest on the loan of defaulter farmers of cooperative societies. Paying the outstanding interests of defaulter farmers will enable them to get fresh loans at zero percent interest,” the chief minister said.

With assembly polls just nine months away, the budget proposed allocation of Rs 358 crore for developing religious circuits/corridors, on the lines of Ujjain’s Mahakal Lok. Devi Mahalok (Salkhanpur), Sant Ravidas Memorial in Sagar, Rama Raja Lok in Orchhca and Divya Vanvasi Ram Lok in Chitrakoot are part of it.

Around 38 per cent of the state’s population comprises scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) sections. The budget allocation for the SC and ST sub-plan grew by 37 per cent at Rs 26,087 crore and Rs 36,950 crore, respectively. A sum of Rs 1,481 crore was proposed for backward class, minorities, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities.

The budget also proposed issuance of Rs 1,000 crore Social Impact Bonds, with Rs 100 crore outcome fund in 2023-24, for developing institutional framework for the welfare of children, women, differently-abled, homeless and senior citizens.

The infrastructure sector has got the maximum allocation of Rs 56,256 crore, followed by agriculture at Rs 53,964 crore, education at Rs 38,375 crore, health at Rs 30,741 crore (including women and child development) and energy at Rs 18,302 crore. In the health sector, the  budget proposes to raise the MBBS seats in from 2,055 to 3,605 and seats in PG courses from 649 to 915. 


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