The annual budget presented by the Nitish Kumar-led seven-party alliance government in Bihar on Tuesday for the financial year 2023-24 in the state assembly promised two lakh new jobs and focus on high growth rate.
State Finance Minister Bijay Kumar Chaudhary, while presenting the annual budget for the first time , said that the total proposed budget expenditure is of Rs 2,62,885.40 lakh crore as against previous year’s budget of Rs 2.37 lakh crore.
Amidst continuous disruption by the Opposition BJP which demanded the resignation of CM Nitish Kumar over deteriorating law and order situation in the state, the minister gave detailed sector wise allocation of funds.
Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Vijay Kumar Sinha was also demanding the resignation of a Bihar minister over his controversial remarks on the Indian Army.
In the midst of noisy scenes, the state finance minister said that the government was committed to create 10 lakh new jobs for the unemployed youths. The government is working out large-scale vacancies in various departments.
The focus would be on high growth rate in the next fiscal year. The state economy is one of the fastest growing in India. Currently, Bihar has recorded a growth rate of 10.98 per cent which is third highest in the country, he said.
The government is committed to increasing revenue without increasing the tax burden. Fiscal deficit is also under control.
Despite a drop in grants in aid received from the Centre compared to the previous year, the finance minister said that the government has maintained its fiscal discipline.
The girl cycle scheme has been allocated Rs 50 crore while Rs 100 crore has been allocated for dresses. Additional Rs 400 crore has been dedicated for the upliftment of the girl child, he said.
Talking about the public health system, he said 21 Sadar hospitals would be upgraded and nine new medical colleges to be set up in districts.
The minister further said the Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) would now be a world class hospital in which 5,462 bed would be set up . The enrolment of 250 selected candidates would be made. The total sanctioned cost is Rs 5,540 crore. The construction work is already underway, he said.
For more public health facilities in all the 243 assembly constituencies, the minister said each constituency will have one primary health centre, five additional primary health centres, 122 community health centres would be set up with an estimated cost of Rs 1754. Besides, telemedicine system would be connected with villages for providing telephony medical treatment.
A total sum of Rs 315.63 crore has been sanctioned for connecting all the police stations with CCTV cameras and crime tracking network to further strengthen the law and order situation, he said.
Bihar has planned to develop an organic corridor along with the Ganga river for cultivation of vegetable fruit food items which would be directly connected with the market network, he said and added that lemon grass would also be grown in the fallow land particularly in Gaya and Jamui districts.
Lauding the efforts of farmers and food growers he said that five indigenous products- katrani rice, Jardalu mango, Shahi Litchi, Magahi paan and Mithila Makhana have already got GI tag.
The minister said that the Bihar government has also committed to start the production millet under its fourth agriculture roadmap. The UN general assembly declared 2023 the international year of millets- a more affordable and sustainable and nutritious alternative.
For the promotion of green energy, each panchayat will be covered under solar lights. A bigger solar network plant would be set up at Pirpainty and Kajra.
The urban residents of Bihar will get 5 percent rebate in holding tax if there is a system of water harvesting in their premises.
Bihar budget allocated Rs 40 crore for reconstruction of madrasas. For the promotion of the tourism sector in Bihar he said that six aerial rope eyes will be built in different parts of the state including Gaya, Rohtas Garh Mundeshwari in Kaimur and Barabar.
The number of Gangetic dolphins in Bihar has substantially increased in the country. Now Bihar boasts a total 1,464 number of dolphins which is half of the total number in the country, the minister said.