Punjab finance minister Parminder Singh dhindsa presented the budget in Punjab assembly today. The FM has projected a plan size of Rs 21,174 crore for the 2015-16 fiscal.
· Rural Development retains primary focus particularly with the introduction of the Mukh Mantri Pendu Vikas Yojana or the Chief Minister Comprehensive Rural Development Scheme with an allocation of Rs 600 crore.
· Rs.45 crore allocation has been made under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana for integrated development of villages with more than 50 percent population belonging to the scheduled castes.
· Similarly, the urban sector is expected to show a significant leap in development initiatives and services with the launch of Punjab Urban Development Mission.
· The cities and towns may soon see a transformation with old manually pulled rickshaws and autos getting replaced by new swanky e-rickshaws under a new financing scheme proposed in the Budget.
· The balancing act is evident even in the provisions for agriculture and industry. While agrarian sector gets Rs.3512 crore annual allocation, industrial sector will get a boost with the new Entrepreneurship Development Programme for micro and small enterprises.
· Within the agriculture sector, the role of cooperative sector has been duly recognized by the FM. Rs.600 crore allocation for sugar cooperatives and Rs. 80 crore outlay for recapitalization of Cooperative Banks has been made.
· In a very sensitive and sympathetic move, the FM has proposed monetary relief to families of farmers who have committed suicide.
· The Budget 2015-16 has a special allocation for all sections of society along with focus on reforming governance systems. In keeping up with the spirit of ‘Right to Service” the Budget provides for setting up 2174 Sewa Kendras or Unified Service Centres for providing 50 services to the citizens at their doorstep. The Government has set itself an ambitious target of scaling these services to 200 over the next two years with an allocation of Rs 500 crore for the first year.
· Another new section the FM has tried to approach is adolescent girls by Strengthening Girls’ Schools in Punjab with an annual allocation of Rs.20 crore to upgrade basic facilities like toilets.
· Women also get 2000 Skill Training Centres in rural areas for encouraging employability and self-employment among rural women.
· 500 such centres are proposed for training boys with a combined outlay of Rs.200 crore.
· For implementing this pioneering programme, the State has set up an empowered ‘State Skill Development Mission’ with three tiers at State, District and Block level.
· Apart from these centres, the Mission will set up Multi Skill Development Centres at Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Ropar to meet short-term skill development needs of the State. The Mission is also in the process of setting up three Skill Development Centres in the Health Sector at Medical Colleges, Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot.
· The Students belonging to families of Blue card holders who secure admission in Institutes of National Importance shall be provided funding to support their education.
· As a breeding ground of prominent sports personalities, the State Budget has proposed to provide stadium facilities across all blocks in the next five years. The Budget provides to groom promising sportspersons for national/ international events by establishing the Punjab Institute of Sports at S.A.S. Nagar. The annual allocation for this is pegged at Rs.50 crore.
· Along with the AIIMS proposed to be set up in Punjab in the Union Budget, the State government is setting up Medicity near Mullanpur in Mohali, which will house many of the best known names in healthcare.
· Minority communities of Muslims and Christians also see a positive intervention for their longstanding demand of having earmarked burial grounds in rural areas with an allocation of Rs 20 crore for the same.
· The Animal Husbandry sector has been allocated Rs. 451 crore in the Budget in an attempt to boost the allied activities in the agriculture sector. Power tariff has been reduced from Rs 7.75 per unit to Rs 4.57 per unit for the allied farming sector.
· The Transport sector will receive a new fleet of 225 buses with an outlay of Rs.75 crore, along with safety and tracking measures like GPS devices in all buses along with computerization of all depots.
· Water supply and sanitation facilities are set to be universalized with World Bank support to a Rs 2200 crore project.
· The holy city of Amritsar is proposed to be developed with an allocation of Rs.500 crore for different development works.
· Irrigation sector has been allocated Rs 1005 crore in 2015-16 for various projects, as it is a major thrust area for the State.
· A new initiative at the district level to construct Gaushalas and dog pounds to ensure safety of crops and public will be taken up in the State.
· Along with the above, the Budget continues to reiterate its commitment to flagship programmes and other continuing state schemes:
· Rs 230 crore – for strengthening of agriculture and allied sectors under RKVY;
· Rs 63.50 crore – for National Horticulture Mission;
· Rs 50 crore – for National Food Security Mission
· Rs 233 crore – for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
· Rs 890 crore –Sarva Siksha Abhiyan programme.
· Rs 277 crore –Mid-Day Meal scheme.
· Rs 310 crore –ICT Project to impart computer education from class 6th to 12th.
· Rs 90 crore –Rashtriya Madhyamik Sikhsha Abhiyan (RMSA) programme.
· Rs 40 crore – District Institutes of Education & Training.
· Rs 20 crore – Strengthening of Senior Secondary Girls Schools.
· Rs 20 crore –Vocational education programme.
· Rs 563 crore - For providing affordable and accountable health care services to the community
· Rs 25 crore - For treatment of cancer patients under CM Cancer Relief Fund.
· Rs 50 crore - Medical Insurance for the poor people.
· Rs 100 crore - Creation of cancer and drug de-addiction treatment infrastructure.
· Rs 692 crore - for the disbursement of Old Age and other pensions to the 20 lac beneficiaries. Besides 2 lac beneficiaries belonging to BPL families would receive additional pensions under National Social Assistance Programme for which Rs 70 crore are provided.
· Rs 594 crore - for Integrated Child Development Services to provide supplementary nutrition to cover 15 lac children and pregnant mothers and construction of buildings of Anganwadi Centres in the State.
· Rs 40 crore - for Mai Bhago scheme to provide free bicycles to girls of 11th and 12th class of government schools.
· Rs 24 crore - for Integrated Child Protection Scheme for the protection of rights of children.
· Rs 16 crore - for the National Mission for Empowerment of Women including Indira Gandhi Matritve Sehyog Yojana
· Rs 11 crore - for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign.
· Rs 411 crore - for the development of Scheduled Castes including scholarships to SC’s students and hostels for Scheduled Castes boys & girls.
· Rs 298 crore - for Multi-Sectoral Development programmes for minorities including scholarships to minority students and infrastructure development of minority concentration blocks.
· Rs 93 crore - for development of Backward Classes including scholarships & hostels for BC’s students.
· Rs 98 crore - for Shagun @ Rs 15000 per beneficiary to SC/BC/Christian Girls/Widows/Divorcee and daughters of widows of any caste at the time of their marriage.
· Rs. 100 crore- for installation of RO System to provide minimum drinking water in heavy metal affected districts of Punjab.
· Rs 80 crore – for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
· Rs 700 crore – Strengthening of Rural Roads
· Rs 100 crore under Punjab State Road Sector project for strengthening of 150 km roads
· Rs 100 crore – NABARD Assisted Projects for construction of widening of Roads and construction of bridges
· Rs 150 crore – Special repair of Plan Roads.
· Rs 302 crore under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana