CHANDIGARH: Haryana unveiled its 2023-24 Budget on Thursday, hoping to woos young people with a promise of 65,000 new government jobs, a venture capital fund to encourage new businesses and an incentive for girls to study at technical institutes.
At Rs 8,316 crore, the allocation for Agriculture and related sectors is up 19 per cent over the previous year and the government will shell out more under pension schemes for the needy.
The Opposition, however, trashed the Budget. Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala called it “jugglery of figures”.
— CMO Haryana (@cmohry) February 23, 2023
The Rs 1.83 lakh crore budget, presented by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the state assembly, sets aside Rs 400 crore for the Haryana Gau Sewa Aayog – a 10-time increase in the amount sanctioned last year for the body tasked with taking care of stray cattle.
The Chirayu-Ayushman Bharat medical insurance scheme will now cover families earning up to Rs 3 lakh per year. They will pay a premium of Rs 1,500 per year which is 50 per cent of the subscription amount to get a Rs 5 lakh medical cover.
Social security pensions for nearly 30 lakh eligible people including allowances for the elderly, widows and people with disabilities will increase by Rs 2,500 to Rs 2,750 per month from April 1.
हरियाणा राज्य की अर्थव्यवस्था मजबूत हो तथा हर हरियाणवी देश की तरक्की के लिए योगदान करे यही हमारा ध्येय है।
— Manohar Lal (@mlkhattar) February 23, 2023
Th old age pension earlier limited to couples earning less than Rs 2 lakh per year, now has a Rs 3 lakh income limit. Haryana Roadways will offer a 50 per cent concession to people above 60, instead of 65 earlier.
Girl students from families earning up to Rs 3 lakh per year will get Rs 2,500 if they join a government Industrial Training Institute.
The state government will establish a venture capital fund in association with banks and financial institutions to provide loans and equity to entrepreneurs if they come from families with an annual income of up to Rs 1.8 lakh, or are women or belong to the Scheduled Castes or Backward Classes.
The venture capital fund will assist the youth in becoming entrepreneurs where the project cost is up to Rs 5 crore. The fund will have a corpus of Rs 200 crore, Khattar said.
The state will also undertake recruitment for at least 65,000 regular government jobs in 2023-24, including through the Common Eligibility Test for Group C and Group D posts.
The BJP-led government marked its commitment towards the completion of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal with a Rs 101 crore provision in the Budget, and an assurance of more funds if needed.
Neighbouring Punjab has consistently opposed the river water-sharing project.
Khattar said there was a 48 percent drop in paddy straw burning, a major cause of pollution in the national capital and the region, over the previous year.
He announced a government-mandated rate of Rs 1,000 per tonne of stubble to encourage farmers to sell rather than burn.
Thermal power plants in the state will use paddy straw biomass along with coal for generating electricity, the CM said.
In the horticulture sector, the government aims to double the cropped area and triple production by 2030 through a series of measures including setting up supply chains. Also, the state has set a target of introducing organic farming over 20,000 acres.
Khattar said there is a need for taking on fiscal responsibility now so that we do not burden our future.
He announced a new scheme, the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Antyodyay Parivar Suraksha Yojana to help families earning less than Rs 1.8 lakh per year, in case there is a death or a member suffers disability.
There are about 3,600 people aged above 80 who live by themselves and have an annual income of less than Rs 25,000, excluding the government pension. Under a new scheme they can now get care at government-run sewa ashrams.
The Budget provides Gurugram with a new multi-speciality 700-bed district hospital.
Source: Press Trust of India