On 27th June 2022, Punjab Finance Minister (FM) Harpal Singh Cheema presented Rs 1,55,859.78-crore budget in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, a growth of 14.2% from the previous fiscal. The Fiscal deficit of Punjab stands at 3.78% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the fiscal year.
- This is the first budget of the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) government led by the Chief Minister(CM) Bhagwant Mann.
- The Finance Minister stated that no new taxes have been announced in the Punjab Budget and also stated that the revenue receipts in 2022-23 are projected to increase by almost Rs 14,000 Crore (17.08%) compared to 2021-22.
About Punjab’s Budget 2022:
i.Punjab’s Budget 2022, the Janata Budget (People’s Budget), was prepared after receiving 20384 suggestions on the government portal and through e-mails.
ii.The budget also lays provisions for introducing Fiscal Risk Management.
Note: Reading out the paperless budget, FM stated that the government’s focus on the first year will be threefold:
- To restore deteriorating fiscal health.
- To deliver on the promises of good governance by ensuring effective use of public funds.
- To concentrate on health and education.
Highlights of 2022-2023 budget:
i.In the last 3 months, the government of Punjab has borrowed Rs 8000 crore to pay the interest for old loans. The outstanding debt of Punjab is projected to increase from Rs 283,756.82 crore to Rs 305,361.44 crore in 2022-2023.
ii.The state government has contributed Rs 1,000 crore in Consolidated Sinking Fund to provide for the disposal of debt commitments in future.
i.The FM stated that from 1st July 2022, every household (domestic consumers) in Punjab will have 300 units of free electricity every month
ii.In the current fiscal, the power subsidy bill stands at Rs 15845 crore, in this around Rs 6947 crore is for free supply to the agriculture sector and Rs 6,530 crore for domestic category consumers.
iii.A total of Rs 2503 crore has been allotted for subsidised power to industrial consumers.
The budget’s revenue expenditure for the fiscal is proposed at Rs 107932 crore (up 5.35% year-on-year) of which Rs 66440 crore (61.56%) is the committed expenditure.
Punjab’s revenue expenditure for the fiscal is proposed at Rs 10981 crore, a growth of 8.95% over the previous year. During 2011-12 to 2021-22, capital expenditure ranged between 0.41% and 1.43% of the GSDP.
The government aims to make Rs 45588 crore from its own tax revenue, which is around Rs 8000 crore more than the estimates in the previous budget. Punjab expects Rs 20,550 crore from GST (Goods and Services Tax), Rs 6250 crore from Value-added tax (VAT) and Rs 9647 crore from the state excise
i.The Mann Government is going to open 16 new medical colleges across Punjab with a proposal of Rs. 1033 crore. The total number of medical colleges in Punjab will increase to 25.
Two super speciality hospitals, in Patiala and Faridkot, will be established by 2024 and 3 more hospitals will be opened by 2027
ii.Finance Minister announced that a total of Rs 11,560 crore has been set aside for the agriculture sector and Rs 6947 crore will be spent to provide free power to agricultural tubewells.
iii.At a cost of Rs 100 crore, rooftop solar systems will be installed in government schools. ‘Punjab Sikhya te Sehat Fund’, a trust, will assist in capital asset creation in health and education sector during the course of the year.
iv.Rs 200 crore has been allocated to find the solutions for stubble burning, one of the major issues in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi in October-November.
v.The government of Punjab will constitute a special commission comprising traders and businessmen to form policies desired by the Business community. This body will collaborate with the government in decision-making and policy formulation.
vi.The government has allocated Rs 30 crore to set up cyber control rooms in all the districts across the state to maintain law and order. During the financial year 2022-2023, CCTV cameras will be installed in the Police Mahila Mittar Kendras.
vii.The govt has also proposed to develop a highway from Chandigarh to Pathankot along the Shivaliks with an aim to offer opportunities to the sub-mountainous Kandi area.
viii.The budget outlay of Rs 4731 crore has been allocated for the health sector, an increase of 23.80% compared to FY 2021-22.
- An initial outlay of Rs 77 crore has been proposed to establish around 117 mohalla/pind (village) Clinics’ in 2021. Among these clinics, 75 will be operationalised by 15th august 2022.
- The establishment of Mohalla Clinics was inspired by Delhi’s AAP government.
ix.The Finance Minister also announced the ‘Farishtey’ scheme under which the victims of the road accidents can be taken to any hospital in the state and avail free treatment. The entire cost of the treatment will be borne by the Mann-led Dispensation.
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