Jai Ram presents Himachal budget (highlights)

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Shimla : The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presented a budget of Rs 49,131 crore in the Vidhan Sabha today.

The revenue receipts in 2020-21 are estimated at Rs.38,429 crore, Revenue expenditure is likely to be Rs.39,123 crore. The fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs.7,272 crore in 2020-21 which is 4% of GSDP.

?The budget for 2020-21 has been prepared around a few major themes. These are
1. Providing Housing for the poor/Scheduled Caste families on a large scale.
2. Focus on Education quality.
3. Improve connectivity/harness tourism potential.
4. Eliminate malnutrition among children.
5. Increasing Farmer Income through increased investment in farm sector/irrigation potential/rural areas.
6. Boost to infrastructure/roads/new industry/power/transport to increase employment opportunities.
7. New schemes for the weaker sections of society. 50 thousand new persons to be given Social Security Pension. One lakh 25000 Widows and Divyangjan pensioners will benefit from increased pension amount.
8. Focus on good governance and effective grievance redressal.
2020-21 to be celebrated as Swaran Jayanti Varsh of the State.

The Budget highlights are as under:-
(A) Ambitious scheme to provide 10 thousand houses for the poor and Scheduled Caste families.

1. Swaran Jayanti Ashray Yojna launched – 5100 Scheduled Caste families will be provided housing assistance.
2. Government will clear pendency of all eligible applications of poor Scheduled Caste families.
3. Three thousand one hundred houses to be constructed under Mukhya Mantri Awaas Yojana for the poor.
4. Housing subsidy increased by Rupees Twenty thousand for the poor in Urban areas.
In 2020-21, ten thousand (10,000) houses will be constructed for the Scheduled Caste and poor families of the State, more than double the number this year.
(B) Quality Education:-
1. Swaran Jayanti Gramodaya, Swaran Jayanti Utkrisht Vidyalaya and Excellence in College schemes started in primary schools. Higher Secondary Schools and Colleges with budget of Rs.54 crore. The schemes will help in improving class infrastructure, better toilet/water facilities, smart class rooms, better sports/gym facilities etc.
2. Adequate teacher strength to be ensured under the schemes.
3. Since the State has achieved universal access to education, now emphasis is on improving quality.
4. Swaran Jayanti Super 100 scheme started to encourage meritorious students to crack professional courses.
5. Maths Labs to be started in 50 schools.
6. 106 more schools/colleges to have Virtual Classrooms under CV Raman Scheme.
7. NCC to be expanded by opening more Companies/Battalion which will increase number of students getting B & C NCC certification.
(C) Improving connectivity/Tourism potential:-
1. Kangra/Shimla airports expansion to be expedited through land acquisition.
2. Work on Mandi Airport planning to start.
3. 5 Heliports will be constructed.
4. Rs.One thousand and thirteen crore (Rs.1013 crore) earmarked for these Air connectivity projects.
5. Bhanupalli-Bilaspur and Chandigarh-Baddi rail lines work will be expedited.
6. Waterway transport will get a boost with the start of Tattapani-Salapper Ferry/Boat service in 2020-21.
7. To give boot to tourism potential at Atal Rohtang Tunnel, Solang valley,Sissu.
8. Ropeways construction to start in Baglamukhi (Mandi) and Narkanda-Hatu Temple.

(D) Swaran Jayanti Poshahar Yojana – providing nutrition/ fortified food to children:-
1. Rs. 30 crore for Swaran Jayanti Bal Top-up Poshahar Yojana will provide additional nutrition to children in Anganwadis, who would be provided nutrition food as fruit, milk etc. Pre-primary sector children would be provided Mid-day Meal under Swasth Bachpan Yojana. In existing Mid Day Meal scheme also, students in elementary schools will be provided extra nutritious food.
Government will eliminate child malnutrition through these initiatives.

(E) A budget for Farmers/Horticulturists, Diary/Fish Farmers, Rural Areas:-
1. Farmers Producer Organization (FPOs) to be provided assistance under ‘Krishi Kosh’ scheme to boost capacities of agriculturists/horticulturists/dairy farmers. Rs.20 crore earmarked.
2. Heeng/Kesar farming to be promoted.
3. Natural farming will be expanded.
4. Command Area Development to be expanded.
5. KUSHY scheme started to provide Hail net structures for farmers. This is in addition to existing Hail net scheme.
6. Rs.7 crore honey farming diversification scheme (MUPY) will help farmers to increase income. ‘Mehak’ scheme for Aromatic Plants announced.
7. CA stores in Gumma, Jarol Tikker and Rohru of Shimla district will be modernized and upgraded.
8. Cow sanctuary and Go Sadans to come up in the State.
9. Mobile Pashu Chikitsa Seva (MOVES) will be started for interior areas on pilot basis.
10. Milk procurement prices increased by Rs.2 per litre.
11. To boost ground Water Resources, Water Conservation Structures would be constructed under ‘Parbat Dhara’ scheme. These structures would also be constructed in Forest Areas under Parbat Dhara Scheme.
12. Two thousand Lok Mitra Kendras to be opened.
13. Under Jal Se Jeevan Mission, One lakh houses will be provided water connections.
(F) Boost to infrastructure – Roads/Power/Industry/Transport:-Roads
1. Two National Highways Paonta Sahib-Gumma-Feedus bridge and Hamirpur-Mandi will be developed as Green National Highway Projects with Government of India assistance at a cost of Rs.2,598 crore.
2. Safety features to be developed on Kiratpur-Mandi, Shimla-Parwanoo and Dharamshala-Gagret roads under a Rs.35 crore project of National Highway Safety System.
3. Four roads to be upgraded under the World Bank assisted State Road Transformation Project.
4. 49 more Panchayats to be connected by road.
5. 1,000 kilometres new roads will be built and 650 kilometre existing roads will be upgraded under PMGSY.EPC contract mode would be started on pilot basis to construct buildings and bridges to expedite works without time overrun.
6. Wayside Amenities Policy being notified to improve travel expense on National/State Highways.
7. In 2020-21, 925 kilometres motorable Kucha roads, cross drainage on 900 kilometres roads, 1,500 kilometres roads will be tarred and 50 bridges will be constructed. 90 villages will be covered by roads.
1. 515 MW additional generation capacity would be added in 2020-21. This includes Bajoli-Holi, Wangar Homte, Sorang, Sawra Kuddu and Uhl projects.
2. In 2020-21, work will also start on Luhri-I, Dhaulashidh, Chanju-III, Deothal Chanju and Renuka Dam projects.
3. A new policy will be brought to give push to stalled power projects.
4. Low voltage problem in many areas of the State will be tackled through a Rs.158 crore distribution project of HPSEB.
5. 65,000 wooden poles to be replaced.
6. To expedite construction of Solar Power Plants( 250-500kw) subsidy of Rs. 2000 per kw will be provided to solar power developers.
1. To attract private investment, a new HP Investment Promotion Agency will be constituted to expedite investment proposals and clearances.
2. Under the Rs.58 crore ‘Parampara’ scheme, Handlooms and Handicraft clusters will be developed in all districts to promote the work of local artisans, weavers, leather workers and other persons involved in different trades.
3. Next Ground Breaking Meet will be held in June 2020 to operationalize MOUs signed in Investors Meet.
4. New bus stands will be constructed in Kotkhai, Barchhwad, Thunag, Karsog, Bhanjararoo, Theog, Amb, Darlaghat, Nankhari and Bali Chowki. Existing bus stands will be upgraded at a cost of Rs.10 crore.
5. 250 new buses to be purchased by HRTC including 100 E-buses.
(G) Social Sector/Health
1. Social Security Pension net being expanded further. 50,000 additional persons to get pension. One lakh 25000 Widows/Divyangjans to get increased pension of Rs. One thousand per month. Overall, one lakh seventy five thousand persons to benefit as a result. Rs. 100 crore extra to be spent on Social Security pension.
2. Social Security pension of Widows and Divyang Jan, increased by Rs. 150/-.
3. Awareness programme being started regarding Menstrual Hygiene.
4. To provide relief to genuine loan defaulters, one time settlement scheme would be brought by HP Scheduled Castes & Tribes Nigam.
5. 2.76 lakh families have been benefited with gas connections under Grihini Suvidha Yojana. New LPG connections will be provided under the scheme to new families.
6. The benefit of co-contribution by the State Government to Atal Pension Yojana beneficiaries will be extended by one year which will benefit over 86,000 persons in the next year.
7. Assistance under Sahara Scheme increased from Rs.2,000 to Rs.3,000 per month.
8. 5 new integrated centres for rehabilitation of Addicts (ICRA) in 5 districts for rehabilitation of drug addicts.

(H) Other initiatives / employees welfare/welfare of other sections.
1. Dedicated Mining Check Posts will be established to check illicit mining.
2. Several measures announced for modernization of Police. These include mounted cameras on police vehicles, 500 Body Worn cameras and 500 CCTVs. Cyber Security and Forensic facilities would be strengthened to prevent and detect crime.
3. Honorarium of Tailoring Mistress, Mid Day Meal workers, water carriers, ASHA, Jal Guard, Para Fitters/Pump Operators/ Panchayat Chowkidars, Anganwari workers/Helpers, Revenue part time workers increased.
4. Honorarium of IT teachers increased.
5. Minimum wage increased from Rs.250 to Rs.275 per day.
6. NPS employees who retired before 2017 would get gratuity benefit.
7. Contract employees salary increased.
8. Group Insurance cover for employees, daily wagers etc. increased to Rs.5 lakh for death/major disablement and Rs.2 lakh for partial disablement.
9. Anganwari workers/Helpers, ASHA, Mid Day Meal workers, Tailoring Mistress, Water Guard, Para Fitters/Pump Operators/Panchayat Chowkidars etc will get benefit of Insurance cover.
10. Over 3 lakh fifty thousand employees/pensioners to benefit from 5% DA/DR announced on 25th January, 2020.
11. Twenty thousand posts will be filled up. These posts will be those of HRTC, HPSEB, Police Constables, Doctors, Para Medical Staff, Part time Multi Task Workers in Education department, PWD, Revenue, Animal Husbandry and other departments.