Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party government presented its first full budget in the Assembly on Friday. No new tax has been imposed in the Budget. Apart from this, the promise of giving Rs 1000 per month to women has not been fulfilled this time too.
However, Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema said his government will fulfil all its guarantees.
For the financial year 2023-24, a budget of Rs 1,96,462 crore was presented. This is 26 percent more than last year. In 2022-23, Punjab’s budget was Rs 1,55,860 crore. In his budget speech, Cheema said his government inherited a loan but still the AAP government would take Punjab forward.
He said that 10.50 lakh people got free treatment in Aam Aadmi Clinics since their opening. 26,797 jobs in Government and its agencies have already been provided by AAP Government.
Almost 90% of Punjab’s households are now getting “Zero Electricity Bills”.
Opening of public sand mines for “Aam Punjabis” for nabling common people to build their dream homes at affordable prices, unlike before.
Rs.2,000 crore – Punjab Government bailed out Punjab Agriculture Development Bank, PUNSUP and Punjab Agro; infused capital in District Cooperative Banks; provided grant to MILKFED and financed mills and SUGARFED to pay our hard working cane growers on time.
Punjab Government showed its commitment to our officers, employees and pensioners by releasing 6% DA from October 2022, implementing UGC pay-scales and the 2nd National Judicial Pay Commission. The financial impact on State exchequer on account of these is to the tune of Rs.1,150 crore.
Released previous years’ un-disbursed central share of Rs.1,750 crore approx. belonging to various centrally sponsored schemes, which was withheld by previous Governments.
3 focus areas, i.e. Good Governance, Education – Health revamp and Revenue mop up. Government has delivered on all three parameters.
The central themes for this year FY 2023-24 would be to:
Boosting farmer income through promotion of agriculture & allied activities;
Create a conducive environment for industrial promotion;
Infrastructural development through judicious capital spending
Strengthen the State Finances- augment additional resources through asset monetization and expenditure rationalization
Central Government has been turning a deaf ear to the long pending legitimate demands amounting to Rs.9,035 crore of the State.
(a) Claims of Rs.6,155 crore related to Cash Credit Limit (CCL), which has not been paid to the State.
b) Further Rs.2,880 crore relating to Rural Development Fee also not been released by the Union Government.
CURRENT ECONOMIC GROWTH
The GSDP for the State is estimated to grow to be Rs.6,98,635 crore for FY 2023-24.
The Per Capita Income of Punjab stood at Rs.1,73,873 crore at current prices in FY 2022-23 registering a growth of 7.40%.
STRENGTHENING PUBLIC FINANCE
Tax Intelligence Unit has been duly notified and experts being hired to study the entire gamut of revenues of the State.
Rs.3,000 crore contributed to the Consolidated Sinking Fund (CSF) as against only Rs.2,988 crore in last 5 years by the previous Government.
To eliminate the bottlenecks, redundancies and streamlining the working of the Administrative Departments (ADs), the expenditure authorization earlier required to be taken from Finance Department, have been duly delegated to the line departments.
Total Budget Expenditure of Rs.1,96,462 crore excluding SDF amounting to Rs.45,000 crore for FY 2023-24; 26% growth compared to the FY 2022-23 (BE). The effective Revenue Deficit and Fiscal Deficit have been pegged at 3.32% and 4.98% respectively.
The Estimates of Revenue Expenditure of State at Rs.1,23,441 crore i.e. growth of 14% over FY 2022-23 (BE). Out of this, Rs.74,620 crore is proposed towards the committed expenditure, a jump of 12% in comparison to FY 2022-23 (BE).
Capital Expenditure is pegged at Rs.11,782 crore i.e. an increase of 22% over FY 2022-23 (RE).
AGRICULTURE & FARMERS WELFARE
Our Government proposes to introduce a “New Agricultural Policy” with the objective to conserve natural resources and increase farmers’ income, a Committee of Experts already constituted in this regard.
Sarkar- Kisan Milni, initiative of our Hon’ble Chief Minister Ji, which got a resounding response from the farmers of Punjab, more such Milnis would be organized in coming months.
1 lac quintals of quality seeds amounting to Rs.38 crore were procured by State nodal agency PUNSEED through track and trace system and around 50,000 farmers were provided subsidized seeds worth Rs.10 crore.
Aam Aadmi Party Government would provide market intervention for Basmati procurement, for which a revolving fund would be created; 33% subsidy on cotton seeds and track and trace mechanism for ensuring only quality seeds for our farmers. Rs.1,000 crore for a special scheme on diversification in FY 2023-24.
2574 Kisan Mitras to be engaged to provide extension services in each village and spread information and knowledge at farmers’ doorstep.
30,312 famers have been provided with an incentive Rs.1,500 per acre for adopting the practice of Direct Seeding of Rice, for which Rs.25 crore has been paid Our Government for the first time procured Moong crop at MSP and transferred a total amount of Rs.79 crore benefitting 20,898 farmers. An allocation of Rs.125 crore for these two initiatives.
CHECKING STUBBLE BURNING PRACTICES
As a result of positive targeted actions undertaken by AAP Government, the paddy straw burning incidents were reduced by approx. 30%.
To engage farmers by providing various possibilities and solutions to eliminate this practice of burning paddy straw. Rs.350 crore allocated under the Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanism, to provide various machines/equipment.
FREE POWER TO FARMERS
Government has provided free power to the tune of Rs.9,064 crore in FY 2022-23(RE) and Rs.9,331 crore has been earmarked in FY 2023-24 to continue its support to the farmers.
Provide Crop Insurance to farmers to save them from vagaries of the weather and other uncertainties.
An allocation of Rs.253 crore for next financial year, i.e. more than double the budget allocated in FY 2022-23 (RE).
5 new Horticulture Estates to be set up in district of Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Patiala, Bathinda and Faridkot – Rs.40 crore in FY 2023-24.
A new risk mitigation scheme i.e. Bhaav Antar Bhugtan Yojna to ensure right remuneration to horticulture producers whenever market prices would fluctuate beyond a certain level- initial allocation Rs.15 crore.
A new scheme for diversification through flower Seed production would also be operationalized in the upcoming financial year.
Rs.885 crore was provided to PSCADB to pay back its loan; Rs.135 crore capital infusion has been done to facilitate DCCBs and Rs.36 crore assistance given to MILKFED.
Rs.400 crore provided to support SUGARFED to pay cane growers; Rs.250 crore allocated in FY 2023-24. Sugar mills were allotted an additional quota of 50% and also the export quota
For setting up of sugar complexes at Batala and Gurdaspur: Rs.100 crore
Rs.100 crore for MILKFED to reach new heights and double its turnover from Rs.4,886 crore in FY 2021-22 to Rs.10,000 crore by FY 2026-27.
Setting up new godowns at 13 locations, 6 godowns is expected to be completed by March 2023 and for completion of remaining 7 projects Rs.100 crore is allocated
110 TPD physical refinery for processing of crude palm oil and 100 TPD Vanaspati plant at Khanna are being installed by MARKFED.
Two new Oil Mills at Budhlada and Gidderbaha for processing of Mustard crop would be installed by MARKFED in FY 2023-24.
25 lac doses of Goat Pox Vaccine were procured to vaccinate our bovine population and till date approx. 7.45 lac cattle have been vaccinated. Lethal African Swine Fever was swiftly controlled by our Government and adequate compensation was provided to piggery farmers, whose pigs were culled- Rs.25 crore in FY 2023-24 for this purpose.
Mobile Veterinary Units to be established in FY 2023-24 to provide diagnosis, treatment minor surgeries, sample collection and audio visual support related to animals, to the farmers / animal owners at their doorsteps- Rs.13 crore budgeted.
To augment the area under fisheries the plan is to expand the current area 1,212 acres under shrimp cultivation to 5,000 acres in next 5 year.
A mini Fish Feed Mill of two ton capacity has been established at district Jalandhar, with Government’s subsidy.
An Ice-Plant of 30 Ton capacity for the preservation of fish, shrimp and its products is proposed to be established with Government subsidy.
FORESTRY & WILDLIFE
Under the Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Hariawal Lehar, against a target of 50 lac saplings, 54 lac saplings have already been planted. Target of planting 1 crore saplings in the upcoming FY 2023-24 across different schemes.
Allocation of Rs.258 crore is proposed in FY 2023-24:
(a) PUNCAMPA- Rs.196 crore;
(b) Wildlife and Zoo Development – Rs.13 crore and
(c) Green Punjab Mission – Rs.31 crore.
An outlay of Rs.17,072 crore for school and higher education, which is 12% higher than the previous year.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR UPKEEP OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS: Rs.99 crore for ensuring basic cleanliness and upkeep of schools while teachers shall concentrate only on academics
SKILL UP-GRADATION PROGRAMME FOR TEACHERS/ SCHOOL HEADS: Rs.20 crore in FY 2023-24 for this purpose. 36 principals/education officers was trained at the Principals Academy, Singapore and another batch of 30 principals has also been sent this month.
SCHOOLS OF EMINENCE 117 schools have been identified for upgrading them as “Schools of Eminence”. On pilot basis, work for upgradation has already started at 04 schools of district Amritsar, Rs.200 crore in FY 2023-24 for up-gradation of the schools into Schools of Eminence.
PRE-MATRIC SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME: For OBC and SC students, provisioned Rs.18 crore and Rs.60 crore, respectively in FY 2023- 24 for providing these scholarships.
Punjab Young Entrepreneur Programme: Rs.30 crore @ Rs.2000 per student to be provided for proposing original business ideas.
Installation of Roof-Top Solar Panel System in Government Schools- Rs.100 crore.
Up-gradation of Infrastructure including Boundary – Wall in Government Schools- Rs.324 crore.
For providing Mid-Day Meal to 16.35 lakh students – Rs.456 crore.
Samagra Shiksha Abhiyaan: Rs.1,425 crore
Forfree books, infrastructure, repair and maintenance of schools: Rs.90 crore.
For providing uniforms to pre-primary class students- Rs.25 crore.
COACHING FOR EMPLOYMENT
2 new schemes i.e. Professional Coaching for Employment and Soft Skill & Communication Training is proposed for providing coaching on professional lines.
PROVISION FOR INFRASTRUCTURE: Rs.68 crore is proposed for undertaking infrastructure development in 11 new Government colleges.
RASHTRIYA UCHCHTAR SHIKSHA ABHIYAN: Rs.116 crore is proposed for this purpose in FY 2023-24.
For strengthening and upgradation of Urdu Academy, Malerkotla: Rs.2 crore has been provided.
Rs.615 crore in FY 2023-24 for improving the technical capacities of our technical education institutes; 6% higher allocation than FY 2022-23.
After the gap of 13 years, Government Polytechnic College for Girls, Ropar which was closed since 2009 has been re-opened in the year 2022.
For the upgradation of infrastructure, machinery equipment & construction of new buildings: Rs.63 crore is proposed in FY 2023-24.
Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement: Rs.40 crore provisioned.