On February 5, 2021, West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee presented the state’s annual budget worth Rs 2,99,688 crore (net) for FY2022 stating an increase of 17.21% over 2020. She has presented the budget in place of Finance Minister Amit Mitra who is unwell. The state tax revenue is projected to increase to Rs 75,415.74 crore in FY22.
- As per the Budget, Gross state domestic product (GSDP) has increased by 2.7 times, state revenue has increased 2.9 times, state plan expenditure has increased by 7.2 times, social sector expenditure by 5.6 times, agri and allied sector expenditure by 6.1 times and physical infrastructure expenditure by 3.9 times.
- West Bengal’s debt to GSDP ratio is estimated to reduce to 34.81 in 2021-22.
- It should be noted that the state has allocated the maximum amount (highest) towards panchayat and rural development at Rs 23,983.27 crore.
Infrastructure & Development projects:
The budget consisted of a host of infra projects which will entail investments around Rs 72,000 cr and provide jobs to 3.29 lakh people. These include the following:
–The state has allocated Rs 500 cr for the construction of 46,000 km of rural roads in the next five years and for the construction and repairing of 10,000 km rural roads in FY22 under “Pathashree scheme”.
–The state also budgeted Rs 2,475 crore for 16 new development projects which include flyovers and foot-over bridges, improved road connectivity and expansion of city roads and bridges.
Setting up of West Bengal’s first Industrial Township in Purulia
The CM also announced the setting up of the first 2,483 acre Jangalmahal industrial town in Purulia’s Raghunathpur with an outlay of Rs 100 crore. This project will boost employment generation in Jangalmahal and put Jangalmahal on the industrial map of India.
- Notably, a proposal of Rs 62,000-crore investment for Jangalmahal Industrial Town has already come forward.
Schemes centered Around Netaji Subhash Bose:
The state budget proposed the setting up of community centres with libraries and photo galleries called Jai Hind Bhaban at Rs 100 crore across districts. The other schemes are as follows:
- An Azad Hind Monument at a cost of Rs 100 crore.
- A state-level planning commission i.e. Netaji State Planning Commission at Rs 5 crore.
- Setting up of a ‘Netaji Batallion’ in the Kolkata police force at an outlay of Rs 10 crore.
Schemes for micro-constituencies:
There will be setting up of Alchiki-medium (a tribal language) schools with an outlay of Rs 100 crore in FY22. Over 5 years, 500 such schools will come up with 1,500 para-teachers being recruited.
- 100 English medium schools for Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) are also proposed in the next three years.
- Another 100 regional language-medium schools – like Nepali, Hindi Kamtapuri, Urdu and Kumali were also proposed to be set up with an outlay of Rs 50 cr.
- The state government allocated Rs 50 crore for 100 new schools for Sadri language in tea gardens and another Rs 50 crore for 200 schools of Rajbangshi language. The total allocation for schools would be more than Rs 200 cr.
- In this regard the number of Madrasas will be converted into government-aided ones and 200 Rajbanshi language schools will also be given government recognition.
Nearly Rs 1,650 crore were allocated for housing projects in the tea garden areas and amongst the tribal populace. About two million new pucca houses for SC and ST will be built over the next five years.
The State Government proposed an increased financial aid for farmers from Rs 2,000 to Rs 6,000 (divided in two categories including Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000) under Krishak Bandhu Scheme. This will cost the government Rs 500 cr.
Launch of new Scheme- Matri Bandana:
A new scheme “Matri Bandana” is announced during the budget under which 10 lakh new SHGs (Self Help Groups) will be formed for poor women. Rs 25,000 crore loan will be provided to these SHGs in the next five years from banks- mainly cooperative banks.
–Upgradation of Andal Airport to international standard within 2023, for which Rs 150 cr have been allocated,.
–There will be expansion of Silicon Valley financial hub in phased manner, and deep sea port at Tajpur (East Midnapore) for which Rs 7,000 cr have been set aside.
–Gas and coal exploration in Deocha-Pachami (Birbhum district), regional flight connectivity from Balurghat, Malda and Cooch Behar and special financial aid for tourism sector, for which loans will be provided ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakhs though banks.
–Nearly Rs 450 crore has been allocated towards financial support for schemes covering construction workers and migrant labourers.
— The Taruner Swapna project will be continued under which 9 lakh students appearing for higher secondary have been given tab.
—Juvashakti, a new project launched by the state government where 10,000 students will be inducted into different government organisations as interns every three years and they will be given opportunity to work in government organisations.
—Swastha Sathi card can be renewed every three years and anyone can become a part of it at any time.
- It is a Basic health cover for secondary and tertiary care up to 5 lakh per annum per family.
–All kinds of road tax lifted from January 21 to June 21, 2021.
–Free ration system will continue till June 21.
–Government will create a common kitchen where people can have their food at a very low cost.
–The Government will allocate Rs 100 crore under which 1.5 lakh refugees will be given land documents in steps.
–45 lakh Construction and transport workers will be given Rs 1,000 under the social security scheme.
–Tourism industries will receive loans between Rs 50 thousand to Rs 1 lakh.
Recent Related News:
i.On 8th January 2021, Mamata Banerjee Chief Minister of West Bengal inaugurated the 7 day 26th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival(KIFF) 2021 (From 8th to 15th January 2021). Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, the brand ambassador of West Bengal virtually attended the inaugural ceremony from Mumbai.
ii.On January 5, 2021, Government of India (GoI), Government of West Bengal (WB)& World Bank signed USD 105 Million Project (approximately INR 767 Crores) for the West Bengal Inland Water Transport, Logistics and Spatial Development Project. The Loan for the project is provided by International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
About West Bengal:
In 2020, West Bengal was impacted by the Amphan Cyclone.
Governor – Jagdeep Dhankhar