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Punjab FM Cheema Presents State Budget Of Rs 1.96 Lakh, Focus on Agriculture, Health, Education

The budget is on lines of the focus areas of the Aam Aadmi party, Cheema said

Photo Credit : Bhagwant Mann/Twitter


The Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema presented a Rs 1.96 lakh crore state budget for the financial year 2023-24 in the assembly here on Friday. The budget strongly focuses on agriculture, education and health sectors. 

Addressing the assembly, Cheema said that the government has focussed on education, health and agriculture sectors. The total budget size has been increased by 26 per cent to Rs 1,96,462 crore for 2023-24 over the previous year. It may be recalled that this is the first full budget of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab, led by Bhagwant Mann. 

The Finance Minister proposed Rs 13,888 crore for agriculture and allied sector, up by 20 per cent. He further added that the government will soon come out with a new agriculture policy for which a committee of experts have been formed. 

Cheema further added a sum of Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for crop diversification. A revolving fund for Basmati crop purchase has also been set up. The government has also decided to launch a risk mitigation crop insurance scheme called ‘Bhaav Antar Bhugtan Yojana’.

Cheema said that Rs 125 crore has been allocated for direct sowing of paddy and moong crop purchase. He also responded to the opposition’s accusations on the stubble burning issue. He said that there has been a drop of 30 per cent in stubble burning incidents. Cheema said that a free power subsidy of Rs 9,331 crore for the farm sector has been earmarked for 2023-24.

On the health sector, he said 10.50 lakh people have been treated in 'Aam Aadmi Clinics' in the state so far. He said 26,797 jobs have been given so far by the Bhagwant Mann government.

The effective revenue deficit and fiscal deficit have been pegged at 3.32 per cent and 4.98 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) respectively.

A sum of Rs 74,620 crore has been proposed towards the committed expenditure, a jump of 12 per cent in comparison to FY 2022-23. He further stated that the effective capital expenditure is pegged at Rs 11,782 crore, an increase of 22 per cent in comparison to the previous fiscal.

For education, Cheema proposed an outlay of Rs 17,072 crore for school and higher education, 12 per cent higher than previous year. It may be recalled that Punjab's gross state domestic product (GSDP) for FY 2023-24 to be Rs 6,98,635 crore

Earlier, the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann took to twitter and said, “Last year on this day we got the mandate of the people of Punjab in the election results and today our government is going to present its first complete budget.” 

CM Mann also called it a historic day for the state. He also expressed high hopes for the budget adding that it will be of public interest."This budget will give a glimpse of Punjab moving towards 'Rangle Punjab'," CM Mann said in his tweet.

The first session of the Punjab budget session began on March 3 and will continue till March 11. The second session will commence only on March 22 after a break for two G20 meetings to be held in Amritsar.