Punjab Finance Minister (FM) Harpal Singh Cheema presented a Rs 1,96,462 crore state budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24), which is 26% higher than the amount allocated in the FY23, with a focus on agriculture, education, and health.
- The FY24 budget is the first full Budget of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government.
- Previously, the AAP government submitted its budget for the remainder of FY23 in June 2022, after taking office in March 2022.
Key Fiscal Indicators:
i.The Effective Revenue Deficit has been estimated as 3.32% and Fiscal Deficit has been estimated as 4.98% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
ii.Committed Expenditure for FY24 has been estimated at Rs. 74,620 crore, an increase of 12% from FY23.
iii.Effective Capital Expenditure is estimated at Rs. 11,782 crore for FY24, up 22% from FY23.
iv.A tax intelligence unit has been formed to combat revenue leakage, and it will be fully functional in FY24.
Key Sector Highlights
i.The Finance Minister proposed an increase of 20% in agriculture and allied sectors funding of Rs. 13,888 crore.
- The Punjab government will shortly release a new agriculture policy, for which an expert committee has been constituted.
ii.In addition to creating a revolving fund for the procurement of basmati crops, a sum of Rs. 1,000 crore has been designated for crop diversification.
iii.The Bhaav Antar Bhugtan Yojana, a crop insurance scheme for horticulture growers, will be introduced by the Punjab government as a risk reduction measure.
iv.A total of Rs. 125 crore has been set up for direct paddy and moong crop procurement.
- It should be mentioned that there has been a 30% decrease in stubble burning incidences.
v.During FY24, the farm sector has been granted a free electricity subsidy of Rs. 9,331 crore.
i.For school and higher education, a budget of Rs. 17,072 crore has been allotted in FY24, which is 12% more than the amount designated in FY23.
- The process for regularizing the contractual teaching and non-teaching cadre and the mega-parent teacher meeting (PTM) in December 2022 are two key initiatives that were undertaken in FY23.
ii.For basic school maintenance and cleanliness, a budget of Rs. 99 crore is proposed for FY24.
iii.A total of Rs. 20 crore has been allocated for school training.
iv.To upgrade schools into “schools of eminence,” a budget of Rs. 200 crore has been established for FY24.
v.A budget of Rs. 990 crore is proposed to assist state universities such as Punjabi University, Patiala; Punjab Agricultural University; Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University; Sri Guru Teg Bahadur State University of Law; and Panjab University, Chandigarh, and its constituent colleges.
vi.In FY24, an allocation of Rs. 258 crore has been proposed for sports, which is 55% more than in FY23.
vii.The state provides Rs 2,000 per student under the ‘Punjab Young Entrepreneur Programme’ for Class 11 students to propose their original business ideas. Rs 30 crore allocation is proposed for this purpose.
i.In the health sector, 10.50 lakh individuals have been treated in Punjab’s ‘Aam Aadmi Clinics,’ and 26,797 jobs have been created.
ii.In FY24, a financial provision of Rs. 4,781 crore for health & family welfare has been proposed, which is 11% more than in FY23.
iii.For the purpose of strengthening the health centres, a proposal for an initial investment of Rs. 39 crore in FY24 has been proposed.
- The government has already approved the establishment of 7 new mother-and-child hospitals at a cost of Rs. 43 crore.
- In addition, Rs. 37 crore has been allocated to renovate 5 such hospitals.
iv.A sum of Rs. 40 crore would be invested in the operation and upgrading of drug management facilities and centres.
- A sum of Rs. 17 crore would be allocated for the procurement of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography/ Computed Tomography (SPECT/CT) machines for the Homi Bhabha Cancer Institute.
- A new 24-hour emergency response service will be launched at a cost of Rs. 61 crore.
Proposed Rs 10,523 crore for law and order maintenance, which is 11% more than in FY23.
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Chief Minister (CM) – Bhagwant Mann
Governor – Banwarilal Purohit
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