The BJP-ruled Gujarat government on Friday presented a Rs 3.01 lakh crore budget which imposed no new taxes.
Finance Minister Kanubhai Desai presented the budget for 2023-24 in the Assembly here on the second day of the Budget Session.
This was the first budget of the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government headed by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel which took office in December last year after the saffron party won a landslide victory in the Assembly polls.
Kanubhai Desai said the budget outlay of Rs 3,01,021.61 crore for 2023-24 indicates a “significant increase” of Rs 57,077 crore, or 23.38 per cent, in comparison to the previous fiscal. Of the total outlay of Rs 3.01 lakh crore, Rs 1.91 lakh crore has been allocated for “development expenditure” while Rs 1.04 lakh crore will be spent as “non-developmental expenditure”.
The Budget 2023-24 proposed a slew of schemes and projects, some of which were part of promises made by the BJP in its poll manifesto like doubling the insurance coverage under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya-MA (PMJAY-MA) scheme to Rs 10 lakh from Rs 5 lakh, and providing two gas cylinders free per year to the beneficiaries of the Ujjwala scheme.
મુખ્યમંત્રી શ્રી ભૂપેન્દ્ર પટેલની પ્રેરક ઉપસ્થિતિમાં નાણામંત્રી શ્રી કનુભાઈ દેસાઈએ આજે ગુજરાત વિધાનસભામાં રજૂ કર્યું રાજ્ય સરકારનું નાણાકીય વર્ષ 2023-24 માટેનું અંદાજપત્ર.#અમૃતકાળમાં_અગ્રેસર_ગુજરાતpic.twitter.com/7OUqBR0m4M
— CMO Gujarat (@CMOGuj) February 24, 2023
Kanubhai Desai said that taking into consideration the revenue account with capital account and net public account, the estimates for the financial year 2023-24 show a surplus of Rs 916.87 crore.
“In this ‘Amrit Kaal’, I present a budget which will determine the direction of the development of the state for the next 25 years. For the year 2023-24, I propose a budgetary outlay of Rs 3,01,021.61 crore,” he said. The government aims to increase the state’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) to more than Rs 42 lakh crore in the next five years, he said.
No new taxes are being proposed in the budget, he said.
“During the pandemic, we had given relief to various sections of society to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore by reducing various taxes,” he said.
The state government will spend around Rs 5 lakh crore on the development of infrastructure facilities in the next five years, he said.
Five state highways with heavy traffic, including Rajkot-Bhavnagar highway, will be developed as high-speed corridors at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore, and this year’s allocation for the project will be Rs 384 crore, Kanubhai Desai said.
The government also plans to set up sports complexes in each district and taluka of the state, he said, adding that Rs 1,066 crore will be spent on providing houses to around one lakh people under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) during the next year.
Other major announcements include a provision of Rs 100 crore for the construction of a Bulk Drug Park in Jambusar, Rs 800 crore to provide drinking water to Saurashtra region, Rs 605 crore for the development of roads connecting tourist circuits and Rs 500 crore for providing two cooking gas cylinders free every year to 39 lakh families under the Ujjwala Yojna.
To help students from poor backgrounds, the government has made a provision of Rs 50 crore for providing school vouchers of Rs 20,000 every year to talented students who have completed studies under the RTE scheme till 8th standard. With this assistance, they can pursue studies in private schools after 8th standard.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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