Chhattisgarh Presents Revenue-Surplus Annual Budget: Main Highlights

Chhattisgarh State budget: Key Highlights And Find Out What’s New In Budget 2022-23

Chhattisgarh Presents Revenue-Surplus Annual Budget: Main Highlights

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Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel recently presented this year's Chhattisgarh State budget in the state assembly. We look at the key highlights and find out what’s new in Budget 2022-23.

Headline-grabbing policy decision on pensions

The big headline was the reinstatement of the Old Pension System (OPS) from the National Pension System (NPS). The move benefits over 3 lakh employees who joined service after January 1, 2004. However, it won't apply to officials of All India Services such as the Indian Administrative Service or the Indian Police Service. Government employees prefer the OPS, so the beneficiaries of state pension are applauding this decision of the Bhupesh Baghel government.

Revenue surplus—A pleasant surprise

The other key point is that tax rates remain the same. While that itself is great news given how government expenditure has risen in the pandemic, on March 9, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel presented a budget of ₹1,04,000 crore—7% more than the previous year—for the financial year 2022-23, with an estimated revenue surplus of ₹702 crore.

A 'surplus' budget was the real surprise. Everyone was wondering How it was possible for the state to achieve a surplus revenue of ₹702 crore when there was a deficit last year what with the pandemic effect, etc. According to the state government, “The credit of a surplus budget goes to the sustained efforts of putting money in the pockets of the rural population through various schemes. The result of which has been increased demand and more production. The purchasing power of rural society has gone up, as evident in the improved per capita income in the state. With this, the entire cycle has positively impacted the revenue income.”

With a revenue expenditure of ₹88,372 crore and ₹15,241 crore as capital expenditure, overall expenditure is estimated at ₹1,04,000 crore. Of this 37% has been kept for the social sector. Of the rest, 40% is for the economic sector and 23% for the general services sector.

Chhattisgarh budget keeps farmers first

The 'Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana' is a prominent highlight in the budget. This scheme for farmers has been provisioned with ₹6,000 crore to implement numerous agricultural schemes in strengthening the farming community. Along with many other schemes announced in the budget, a fresh impetus of ₹300 crore has been made for 1,705 new irrigation projects. The irrigation projects would develop and bolster the irrigation system of vast areas across the entire state.

Inclusion for tribals

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced an increase in remuneration under the 'Rajiv Gandhi Bhoomiheen Krishi Mazdoor Nyay Yojana' to ₹7,000 per annum from the previous ₹6,000. The scheme's ambit now benefits a much larger population and includes Manjhi, Baiga, Gunia, Pujari, Haat Paharya and Baja Mohariya tribes.

Empowering women & engaging youth

To empower the youth to contribute to the state economy, the government has constituted the 'Rajiv Yuva Mitan Club'. The plan is to open these clubs in both rural and urban areas. A whopping 11,664 clubs in urban areas and 1,605 clubs in the rural areas will enable the youth to engage in various creative and productive endeavours like associating with various gothan related works. Gothans have been a great success in engaging women and youth in activities such as craftsmanship, agricultural, horticultural, and manufacturing products. These hubs have become centres of employment. This year, the government has earmarked ₹600 crore to develop these Gothans further.

Housing for all

Although many urban development projects have been announced this year, two crucial residential schemes are 'Mor Zameen Mor Makaan' and 'Mor Makaan Mor Chinhari'. A sum of ₹450 crore has been announced in the budget.

Education for all

In his budget speech, the Chief Minister announced several educational schemes for primary, secondary, and advanced education since the state government is focusing on creating a skilled workforce. For example, 16 new graduate-level faculties and 23 new post-graduate faculties are planned for this year. Besides that, funds have been allocated for 28 industrial training centres to help set up new business start-ups for secondary school pass-out students.

Prioritising health

This year's budget also provides funds for new community health centres and a civil hospital with 50 beds in Khairagarh, Rajnandgaon. A budget allocation of ₹37 crore has also been made to purchase medical equipment for colleges in Ambikapur and Kanker.

The Chief Minister's urban slum health scheme's success and effectiveness has prompted a considerable expansion. The innovative all-women mobile clinics run under the project will now increase to 60. The aim is to operate these clinics in all municipalities and nagar panchayats in the state. These mobile clinics were launched for the first time in the year 2020. This year, the budget provision for this free health scheme is ₹50 crore.

Building stronger connectivity

There is also a massive focus on road infrastructure and connectivity-related projects with hundreds of new projects on the anvil. ₹365 crore has been allocated for hundreds of new roads, and over a hundred new large and medium bridges will be constructed, besides railway over bridges.

The state government is determined to keep loans to a minimum and will avail of them only when absolutely necessary. As per quick estimates, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the current year 2021-22 is projected to grow at 11.54% at constant prices. It's higher than the 9.2 % growth at the national level. This is good news for the people of Chhattisgarh, as higher growth would mean more room for the state government to spend on their welfare.