Polls on mind, Jai Ram gives push to ru­ral devp

15 NEW SCHEMES At ₹44,387cr, this year’s es­ti­mate is 7% more than last fis­cal POP­ULIST Journos to get laptops, wages of an­gan­wadi work­ers hiked

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HIMACHAL BUDGET 2019 - Gau­rav Bisht gau­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

SHIMLA: Eye­ing elec­toral gains in the forth­com­ing Lok Sabha elec­tions, Hi­machal Pradesh chief min­is­ter Jai Ram Thakur, who also holds the fi­nance port­fo­lio, pre­sented a ₹44,387-crore pop­ulist bud­get with prime fo­cus on farm­ers, youth, em­ploy­ees,women and so­cial sec­tor.

In his sec­ond bud­get, Jai Ram Thakur in­tro­duced 15 new schemes. The bud­get es­ti­mate was 7% higher than that of the last fis­cal.


Thakur said the rev­enue re­ceipts for 2019-20 are es­ti­mated to be ₹33,747 crore while the ex­pen­di­ture will likely be ₹36,089 crore. “The rev­enue deficit will be ₹2,342 crore while the fis­cal deficit is es­ti­mated to be at ₹7,352 crore,” said Thakur. This gap will be made good through net bor­row­ings es­ti­mated to be worth ₹5,069 crore dur­ing the year. No new taxes have been pro­posed.


As per the es­ti­mates, the state’s econ­omy is ex­pected to grow at a rate of 7.3% dur­ing the year 2019-20 as com­pared to 6.5% in the last fis­cal, chief min­is­ter Jai Ram Thakur stated. The state gross do­mes­tic prod­uct is ex­pected to be ₹1,51,835 crore dur­ing the year, which is 11.1% higher than the last fi­nan­cial year.


To woo the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion in the state, which ac­count for more than 80% of the pop­u­la­tion, Thakur an­nounced a ₹4,751 crore bud­get for a project that prom­ises to dou­ble the farmer’s in­come through wa­ter con­ser­va­tion and other ac­tiv­i­ties. The project will be funded by Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank. The CM also an­nounced 50% sub­sidy for in­stalling barbed wire or chain link fence in farms.


Un­der the Sam­purna Swasthya Yo­jana in 12 med­i­cal institutions across 12 dis­tricts will be up­graded. Pa­tients hail­ing from eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tions and suf­fer­ing from ail­ments such as Parkin­son’s, can­cer, paral­y­sis, mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy, he­mo­philia, tha­lassemia and re­nal fail­ure will get ₹2,000 per month. The gov­ern­ment has also en­hanced the diet al­lowance for AIDS pa­tients from ₹800 per month to ₹1,500 per month, be­sides an­nounc­ing a trauma cen­tres on Baddi Baroti­walla and Shimla Kalka high­ways.


Jai Ram Thakur pro­posed to set up a San­skrit Univer­sity in the state. Thakur an­nounced that para teach­ers who have com­pleted more than three years of the ser­vice will be el­i­gi­ble for the pay equiv­a­lent to reg­u­lar teach­ers, be­sides dear­ness al­lowance.


Though no new scheme was launched in the tourism sec­tor, gov­ern­ment has an­nounced to come up with a new tourism pol­icy for holis­tic de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of eco-tourism. A “Shiv Dham” will be es­tab­lished in Mandi where repli­cas of 12 jy­otir­lin­gas will be es­tab­lished.


Re­it­er­at­ing com­mit­ment for wel­fare of em­ploy­ees, chief min­is­ter Jai Ram Thakur said the gov­ern­ment will no­tify new pay scales after Pun­jab Pay Com­mis­sion gives its rec­om­men­da­tions. Con­tri­bu­tion of the state gov­ern­ment un­der the New Pen­sion Scheme was also in­creased to 14%. Ear­lier it was 10%. Dear­ness al­lowance to the em­ploy­ees and dear­ness relief to the pen­sion­ers of the state gov­ern­ment at the rate of 4% will be pro­vided from July 1, 2018.

The pol­icy to pro­vide job on com­pas­sion­ate grounds was also changed and the age limit in­creased from ex­ist­ing 50 years to age or re­tire­ment.


Hy­del projects with in­stalled ca­pac­ity of about 500 MW are ex­pected to be com­mis­sioned. These in­clude 100 MW Uhl-III and 111 MW Sawara-Kuddu.

The two projects will gen­er­ate ad­di­tional 700MW units of power per year. State will also get ad­di­tional 200 mil­lion units of power after com­mis­sion­ing of Renuka project, which has been de­clared a project of na­tional im­por­tance. 850 new dis­tri­bu­tions sub-cen­ters will be set up by the state elec­tric­ity board to pro­vide new con­nec­tions and im­prove volt­age.

Ten MW ca­pac­ity rooftop so­lar power plants are also pro­posed to be in­stalled. The gov­ern­ment will spend ₹475 crore on power sub­sidy to do­mes­tic con­sumer.

Hi­machal chief min­is­ter Jai Ram Thakur along with fi­nance de­part­ment of­fi­cials ar­riv­ing to present the bud­get at the Hi­machal Pradesh Vid­han Sabha in Shimla on Satur­day. DEEPAK SANSTA/HT

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