Presenting a budget of Rs 1.85 lakh crore here on March 1,2017, state finance minister Jayant Malaiya announced that all widows in Madhya Pradesh will now get pension irrespective of their financial status.
Saying that an allocation of Rs 1501 crore has been made for it, Malaiya said that all widows, except for those already getting pension and in service, will now get a monthly pension of Rs 300. He said the pension had been increased from Rs 150 to Rs 300.
Malaiya also announced that seventh pay commission benefits will be provided to government employees retrospectively from January 1, 2016 and cash benefits from July, 2017 salary. For setting up the infrastructure for Deendayal Kitchen Scheme Rs 10 crore had been allocated.
No major tax hike was announced given the scheduled implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1. To promote regional air connectivity, VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) on airports and airstrips, except for the ones at Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Khajuraho, has been reduced from 4% to 1 %. But VAT on ATF at Indore and Bhopal airports has been increased from 4% to 25 %.
Sprinkling his hour-long budget speech with Urdu couplets, Malaiya presented the state budget for 2016-17, with a budget appropriation amount of Rs 1.85 lakh crore and total net expenditure of Rs 1.6 lakh crore. The fiscal deficit is to the tune of Rs 25,688 crore.
In his 31- page budget speech, Malaiya highlighted the progress of the development works undertaken by the state government and the allocation made in different sectors.
Malaiya said in agriculture sector, a provision of Rs 33,564 crore had been made, adding that Rs 2000 crore provision had been made for “Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme”, Rs 400 crore for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Rs 305 crore for National Food Security Mission, Rs 140 crore for micro-irrigation and Rs 92 crore for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna.
In Forest sector, Malaiya said a provision of Rs 2704 crore had been made for various schemes of forest department and Rs 102 crore for plantation of fruit and non-fruit trees on Narmada river bank.
Listing out the details of the allocation for rural development, Malaiya said provision of Rs 1750 crore had been made for the disposal of liquid and solid waste in 3000 gram panchayats under Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Rs 3500 crore for ‘Housing for All’ scheme in rural areas under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana.
“Besides provision of Rs 2000 crore had been made under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Rs 633 crore for National Rural Livelihood Mission, Rs 1127 crore for providing basic amenities to panchayats and Rs 2642 crore under the recommendation of the 14th finance commission”, he added .
In education sector, he said a provision of Rs 200 crore had been made for construction of college buildings and hostels under World Bank Project, Rs 215 crore for Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, Rs 100 crore for development of 10 Excellence ITIs and Rs 100 crore for 2.5 lakh youngsters and 2 lakh women to train them under ‘Mukhyamantri Kaushal Samwardhan and Kaushlya Scheme’.
In case of health sector, Malaiya said Rs 590 crore had been allocated for construction of 7 new Medical College buildings. He added that Rs 4000 crore had been allocated for converting temporary power connections into permanent connections in the state.
Informing that MP received 2630 investment proposals of Rs 5.62 lakh crore in the state during Investor Summit-2016, Malaiya said provision of Rs 161 crore had been made for development of industrial infrastructure in 9 new industrial areas.
Terming the budget as historic, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said it was largely a budget designed for the welfare of farmers, development of the poor and a budget that empowers women. “From the cultural point of view, this is a unique budget. Veer Bharat Nirman had been initiated after Shaurya Smarak. Provision has been made for setting up Vedant Peeth in the memory of Adi Shankaracharya”.
Apex industry body ASSOCHAM state unit secretary general DS Rawat hailed the budget, terming it ‘balanced and growth-oriented.’
He said significant focus on agriculture which is the mainstay of MP’s economy together with initiatives like infrastructure development both in rural and urban areas would further encourage state’s economic growth agenda.
Congress however alleged that the Shivraj government was indulging in the gimicry of figures. Congress leader Arun Yadav said it was an anti-people budget as there was not much for the common man who is already suffering due to inflation. “There are no special initiatives for farmers, women, youth and students in budget. The budget talks of implementing seventh pay commission recommendations, but anomalies in the sixth pay commission recommendations have not been addressed yet”, he alleged.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Alok Aggarwal alleged that the budget was anti-people as the allocation had been comparatively reduced in case of farmers , youth, women, commerce , education and health.
Social activist Sachin Jain said there was a debt of Rs 23,934 crore on the MP government in 2001-02, which has now increased to Rs 1,18,984 crore . “In the last 17 years, MP government had paid an interest of Rs 90864 crore. Is this the development model we are seeking”, he said.
Budget allocation for major departments (in crores)
Home- Rs 6304.3
Forest -Rs 2704.2
Commerce, Industries and Employment-Rs 929.1
Farmer Welfare and Agriculture Development-Rs 4541.87
Health –Rs 5672.6
Urban administration- Rs 11489
School Education-Rs 19872.8
Tribal Welfare- Rs 6045.94
Women and Child Welfare-Rs 4314.8
Rural Development-Rs 14387.5