Education, agriculture focus of Punjab, Haryana budgets
The Punjab and Haryana governments on Friday presented their respective budgets for 2020-21 with key focus on education and agriculture.
Presenting a Rs 1.54 lakh crore budget, Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal made a raft of announcements, including free education for all up to class 12, implementation of 6th pay commission, release of dearness allowance arrears and loan waiver for landless and farm workers, despite rising debt.
Badal announced the implementation of the 6th State Pay Commission and release of 6% dearness allowance arrear for government employees.
“The retirement age of government employees has been reduced from 60 to 58 years. With this, we will be able to provide employment to three to four times the number of people who retire,” Badal said.
Another announcement is waiver of loans of landless and farm workers amounting to Rs 520 crore, which is part of allocation of Rs 2000 crore made under the ‘Crop Loan Waiver Scheme’.
Meanwhile, Haryana chief minister ML Khattar, who holds the finance ministry portfolio, unveiled the first budget of the BJP-Janta Jannayak Party government, which came to power in October last year.
The CM introduced novelty in terms of a scheme providing modern public facilities in select cities, reduction in power tariff for agriculture dependent activities, enhanced scholarship amount for school students, making chemotherapy available in all district hospitals, in the 68-page budget document.
He also said all 1,487 government senior secondary schools where science faculty is available will be converted into smart schools in 2020-21.