Chhattisgarh: Rs 1.47 Lakh Cr Budget Presented in Assembly; No New Taxes Proposed

Chhattisgarh Finance Minister OP Choudhary on Friday presented a budget of Rs 1,47,446 crore for 2024-25 in the state Assembly and said it focused on prosperity for ‘gareeb, yuva, annadata and naari’ or GYAN as well as stimulating infrastructure growth. No new taxes were announced in the first budget of the Vishnu Deo Sai-led BJP government that took oath in December.

He also announced that a document titled ‘Amritkaal: Chhattisgarh Vision @2047’ will be dedicated to the people on November 1 this year with the aim to transform the state from a developing to a developed one.

Speaking about the ‘Amritkaal: Chhattisgarh Vision @2047’ document, he said the first mid-term goal for achieving the vision under it shall be doubling the GSDP in the next five years from Rs 5 lakh crore to Rs 10 lakh crore by 2028, he said.

“The budget is focused on the economic development of GYAN, gareeb (poor), yuva (youth), annadata (farmers) and naari (woman), stimulating infrastructure growth by increasing capital expenditure, as well as employment and livelihood promotion for youth,” he said. The budget is an important step towards fulfilling (pre poll) promises that were made under ‘Modi ki guarantee’, he added.

“In the last five years, the previous (Congress) government did injustice to gareeb, yuva, annadata and naari. Not only was the right to a roof snatched away from the poor, black marketing of fertilizers, procurement of cow dung at Rs 2 per kg and forcibly selling poor quality vermicompost (prepared from cow dung) for Rs 10 per kg were also committed,” he said. The previous government promised to give women Rs 500 but failed to fulfil it, the minister claimed.

A provision of Rs 500 crore has been made for Deendayal Upadhyay Bhoomiheen Krishi Majdoor Yojana under which landless labourers will be provided annual assistance of Rs 10,000, up from Rs 7,000 last year, he said.

The minister said a provision Rs 8,369 crore has been made in the budget for the construction of 18 lakhs houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Rs 10,000 crore under Krishak Unnati Yojana for strengthening small and medium farmers and Rs 4,500 crore for Jal Jeevan Mission.

“A provision of Rs 3,000 crore has been made for Mahtari Vandan Yojana to make women of the state self-reliant (under which Rs 1000 per month will be given to married women). An initiative for citizens for Shri Ram Lalla Darshan (visiting Ayodha Dham) has been proposed with a budgetary amount of Rs 35 crore,” the minister said. The Chhattisgarh Higher Education Mission Scheme will be implemented to strengthen provisions of the National Education Policy, he added.

“A State Capital Region (SCR) will be established covering Raipur and Bhilai cities. A climate action plan will be prepared for reduction in carbon emission in addition to encouragement to solar rooftop, e-vehicles, adoption of Kusum Yojna, among others,” the minister said. A provision of Rs 5 crore has been made in the budget to organise ‘Invest Chhattisgarh’ event, Choudhary said.

“There is no tax proposal for the year 2024-25 and no increase in existing tax rates. As a result of positive efforts, the state’s own revenue is estimated to increase by 22 per cent without imposing new tax or increment on the tax rates,” he said.

In 2024-25, the Gross Fiscal Deficit of the state is estimated to be Rs 19,696 crore (including Rs 3,400 crore of Special Assistance for Capital Expenditure by Union government), while Net Fiscal Deficit is estimated at Rs 16,296 crore, which is 2.90 per cent of GSDP, Choudhary told the House.

This is within the limit of 3 per cent set in the FRBM Act (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act), he added. “Total revenue surplus estimated in 2023-24 is Rs 1,060 crore. Chhattisgarh is among the progressive states which maintains a revenue surplus status,” he said.

The capital expenditure for 2024-25 is proposed to be Rs 22,300 crore, which is 15 per cent of the budget outlay, and is 20 rpt 20 per cent higher than that of 2023-24, the minister said. This is up from the average capital expenditure of 12 per cent in the last five years, the minister told the House.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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