A first: Education gets lion’s share

A first: Education gets lion’s share

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28

In one of the rare occurrences, the education sector with Rs13,092-crore allocation has got even bigger share than the agriculture sector, which has remained at top in the state Budgets for decades. This year, the agriculture sector has been allocated Rs12,526 crore.

The government has increased the allocation for social sectors as even the health sector got Rs4,675 crore, 15 per cent higher than the previous Budget.

Laying emphasis on the education sector, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said the government was fully committed to its responsibility towards millions of students for providing good educational environment and better teaching techniques for their bright and successful future. “The government is making concerted efforts to upgrade the infrastructure facilities in the government schools and enhance the quality of education and recruitment of teachers.”

The entire education sector got Rs13,092 crore. As per the break-up, schools and higher education (excluding technical education) got Rs12,488 crore, accounting for 8 per cent of the total expenditure provided for in the year 2020-21. It is 23 per cent higher than the budgetary allocations for the sector in the year 2016-17.

A significant share of the education budget will go for infrastructure upgrade. As much as Rs100 crore has been allocated for construction of 4,150 additional classrooms, Rs100 crore for digital education, Rs75 crore for maintaining school buildings and Rs174 crore for rejuvenating higher education, including Rs150 crore for boosting research activities in two state universities. Apart from this, Punjabi University, Patiala, has been allocated Rs15 crore for the construction of a new girls hostel.

In technical education, the government has decided to upgrade the infrastructure and machinery of all government Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and establish 19 new ITIs with an initial outlay of Rs75 crore in 2020-21. The state will also start at least one course for the disabled persons from the year 2020-21 in the ITIs covering all districts with an initial outlay of Rs60 crore.

Sehat Bima Yojana gets Rs221 crore

Chandigarh, February 28

For the health and family welfare (excluding medical education and research) sector, the Budget has proposed to allocate Rs3,778 crore, 15 per cent higher than the last financial year. A big share of the Budget — Rs221 crore — will go to for Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana. Besides, Rs15 crore has set aside for setting up ICUs in all district hospitals, Rs50 crore for upgrading infrastructure for sub, primary and community health centres. — TNS


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