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Budget: Khattar govt’s focus on economic and social services

Ranjeet Jamwal | Chandigarh |

With just over a year left for the Haryana Assembly elections, Manohar Lal Khattar government kept its focus on economic and social services in the Budget for 2018-19 presented in the Assembly on Friday by allocating over 60 per cent of the total budget to these two sectors.

While the finance minister Abhimanyu allocated 28.7 per cent of total budget to economic services including agriculture and rural electrification, 33.89 per cent of the budget was allocated to social services including education, social welfare and health services.

The finance minister proposed an increase of 51.22 per cent in the outlay for agriculture and allied activities including horticulture, animal husbandry, dairying by allocating Rs4,097.46 Crore for 2018-19 as compared to Rs 2,709.69 Crore in 2017-18.

For irrigation and water resources, the finance minister allocated an outlay of Rs 3,222.21 Crore in 2018-19 which is 20.01 per cent more than 2017-18.

Giving priority to development of villages, Abhimanyu proposed an allocation of Rs 4,301.88 Crore for 2018-19 for rural development, community development and panchayats which is an increase of 24.65 per cent pverRs 3,451.19 crore in 2017-18.

Likewise, for improving health services, the finance minister proposed an outlay of Rs 4,769.61 Crore in 2018-19 for health and family welfare which is an increase of 25.02 per cent over the revised estimates (RE) outlay of Rs 3,815.07 Crore in 2017-18.

When it comes to education, am outlay of Rs 13,978.22 Crore was proposed which is an increase of 10.9 per cent. For technical education, the proposed outlay was increased by over 20 per cent with allocation of Rs 482.95 Crore for the department. Likewise, the outlay for Skill Development and Industrial Training Department was increased by 43.43 per cent to Rs 657.94 Crore.

For the welfare of scheduled castes, backward castes and old age persons, the outlay was increased by 21.45 per cent by proposing Rs 6,812.30 Crore for the department.

The finance minister said for the objective of inclusive growth, an outlay of Rs 8.078.45 Crore has been earmarked for the welfare of scheduled castes (SC) under the SC sub-plan component in 2018-19 and 16.52 per cent amounting to Rs 6,633 Crore for women component.

Abhimanyu said he has attempted to align the budget allocation with sustainable development goals (SDGs) which are part of the state government’s Vision 2030 document. “Out of the total budget of Rs.1.15 lakh Crore, an amount of Rs 44,911.16 Crore has been allocated to schemes which lead to the attainment of 15 SDGs in due course of time in the state,” he said.