Budget may prepare ground for elections in Uttarakhand

  • Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Mar 11, 2016 15:52 IST
Assembly speaker GS Kunjwal comes out of the House in Dehradun on Thursday. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

The Congress government in Uttarakhand is expected to present a “populist” budget today, the last before the state goes to polls in less than 10 months.

The government unlikely to impose any new tax for the new fiscal and the budget will be “revenue surplus” – where expenditure to be less than revenue receipts, sources in the state finance department sources said.

The state failed to mop up Rs 25,777 crore in revenues receipts projected in the last, some of them said.

The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act make state governments responsible to ensure long term macro-economic stability. Revenue surplus is one of such steps towards complying FRBM Act.

With the assembly elections months away, the budget is likely to be loaded with provisions for women and youngsters.

Governor KK Paul in his address to the House on Wednesday, said the government will create 3,000 jobs in the new financial year. The Harish Rawat government’s budget will be a “gender-based budget”, said sources in the financial department.

“Gender budget is an important feature in the state’s budget since 2007,” Amit Negi, finance secretary wrote to officials in a letter on December 10, 2015, asking them to submit proposals.

Negi asked officials to classify scheme in two categories–one which are 100% reserved for women and the other which provided 30% or more financial allocation. Presently, 26 departments in the state follow gender-based budgeting pattern.

RS Tolia, the state’s former chief secretary said with the NITI Aayog replacing the Planning Commission, the states has to focus on key flagship schemes of the Centre.

“Now the entire financial planning has been changed and gender budgeting is a great idea to empower women. Some 146 services in state come under the gender-based budgeting but the government has review the schemes and focus on 40 central-sponsored schemes like National Rural Health Mission that offers the maximum livelihood options,” Tolia told Hindustan Times.

Finance ministry sources said that besides women and youngster, the government has planned development schemes for farmers and minorities.

Taking a cue from the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, the state will announce schemes for conservation of the Ganga and protection of cow in the budget, some of them said.

Promises made in last budget

Monetary help of Rs 2 lakh for acid attack women victims

20% reservation for women in home guards and prantiya rakshak dal services

Mukhya Mantri Vridha Mahila Poshan Yojna for improving health and nutrition, status of old women

20% quota for women in Veer Chand Singh Garhwali tourism scheme

Reservation for senior citizen in hospital beds

Bonus will be given to farmers for production of millets - Madua, Anardana, Fafar and Chaulai

Permission will be granted for cutting of Pine (Cheer) trees in private agricultural lands

Physiotherapy rehabilitation Centre will be established in Pithoragarh, Haldwani and Dehradun

New Medical College will be established in Bhagwanpur and Pithoragarh

School of language will be opened in Doon University and Almora campus of Kumaon University

To establish the identity of the state, the government will select a state song and head gear.

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