Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema presented a budget of Rs 1.96 lakh crore for the financial year 2023-24 in the assembly, in which special attention has been given to agriculture, education and health. Cheema said that education, health and agriculture sectors are among the priority areas for the government. The state finance minister said that the size of the total budget for the next financial year has been increased by 26 percent to Rs 1,96,462 crore as compared to the previous financial year i.e. 2022-23. This is the first full budget of the AAP government.
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Significantly, after coming to power in March 2022, the AAP government first passed the vote on account on March 22, 2022. After this, he presented his budget for the remaining part of the year in the month of June. The finance minister proposed Rs 13,888 crore for the agriculture and allied sector, an increase of 20 per cent. He said that the government will soon bring a new agriculture policy. For this, a committee of experts has been formed.
An amount of Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for crop diversification in the budget. The government has decided to start a ‘Risk Mitigation Crop Insurance Scheme – ‘Bhav Inter Pay Scheme’. Cheema said that Rs 125 crore has been allocated for direct sowing of paddy and moong crops. On the issue of stubble burning, he said that the incidents of stubble burning have decreased by 30 percent.
In addition, Cheema said that a free power subsidy of Rs 9,331 crore has been earmarked for the agriculture sector for the financial year 2023-24. On the health sector, he said that 10.50 lakh people have been treated so far in the ‘Aam Aadmi Clinic’ in the state. According to him, the Bhagwant Mann government has so far given jobs to 26,797 people.
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