Punjab Budget: Jobs, pay hike, loan waiver; Manpreet Badal opens purse strings in election year

Govt to waive farm loans of 1.13 lakh farmers

Ruchika M Khanna and Vijay C Roy 
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 8 

Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Monday presented the state budget with an outlay of Rs 1,68,015 crore for the financial year 2021-22 in the state assembly.

Badal tabled the last budget of the Amarinder Singh-led government. The assembly elections are due early next year.


More Punjab Budget stories:


The government will waive Rs 1,186 crore of 1.13 lakh farmers and Rs 526 crore of landless farmers in the next phase, under the crop loan waiver scheme in 2021-22, as per the budget speech.

Badal also announced to raise old-age pension from Rs 750 per month to Rs 1,500 per month.

He also announced an increase in the amount under the Shagun scheme from Rs 21,000 to Rs 51,000. --with PTI 

The budget comes at a time when Punjab’s per capita social sector spending is the fourth lowest among major states. 

Also read: Social sector spending cut 50% in past 4 years in Punjab

Highlights:

All students studying in government colleges will be allowed free travel in government- run buses.


Two Akali MLAs walkout

  • Two Akali MLAs--Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal and D S Bhunder--walk out of the House, say "no improvement for families of farmers who commit suicide". 

 Rs 1,513 crore proposed by FM for power subsidy to domestic consumers


Social sector expenditure increased from Rs 2,320 crore to Rs 4,000 crore


Seven hostels to be set up for working women

  • Hostels to be set up in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Mohali, Mansa and Bathinda

Vacancies to be filled in state govt jobs

  • 48,989 posts in state government to be filled in the first phase, against 1 lakh vacancies.

Rs 1,600 crore set aside for Smart Cities mission


Rs 90 crore for Punjabi University's debt; allocation for Post Matric Scholarship scheme 

  • Rs 432 crore allocated for setting up Interfaith Institute at GNDU
  • Rs 750 crore set aside for giving scholarships to 2 lakh students under Post Matric Scholarship scheme.

Subsidised electricity to industry

  • FM earmarks Rs 1,928 crore during 2021-22 for subsidised electricity
  • FM proposes OTS policy for interest-free loan defaulters (industry) provided they fulfil certain conditions

Punjab Sugarcane Research Development Institute to come up in Kalanaur; Gurdaspur and Batala sugar mills to be upgraded; and, Rs 300 crore to be set aside for buying sugarcane


A multi-speciality veterinary hospital announced at Fazilka


29 new schemes for improving canal systems 

  • Rs 897 crore proposed for strengthening the canal irrigation system

250 schools to be upgraded, Rs 100 cr for smartphones for 12th class students 

  • Rs 140 crore allocated for digital education
  • Rs 100 crore allocated to provide smartphones to students of class XII
  • Fitness parks to be set up in all government schools and playgrounds.
  • Rs 100 crore for up-gradation of Government Colleges, announced
  • Rs 1064 crore allocated for GNDU, Punjabi University, PAU, Rajiv Gandhi National Law university

Also read: Capt Amarinder declares continued commitment to empower women, girl child


Agri schemes to mitigate risk of horticulture farmers, crop diversification

  • To mitigate the risk of horticulture farmers, two schemes announced for fixing a base price for horticulture crops and payment of deficiency price as compensation
  • Agricultural Marketing Innovation Research and Intelligence Centre announced at Mohali
  • Rs 200 crore set aside by for crop diversification
  • Agriculture Development Bureaus to be set up in each district
  • Special emphasis on horticulture as Rs 361 crore allocated for 2021-22


AAP stages walkout

AAP MLAs storm the well of the House saying that the Congress government has increased the debt of the state by over Rs 70,000 crore


New umbrella programme 'Kamyaab Kisan Khushaal Punjab' launched

  • Under this scheme, Rs 3,780 crore to be spent in the next three years and Rs 1,104 crore allocated for 2021-22.
  • A centre of excellence for vegetables to be set up at Fazilka; a post-graduate institute of horticulture research to be set up at Amritsar; mobile vending carts to be provided to farmers.

Govt proposes to extend the GST incentives to October 17, 2022 to attract investment

  • Earlier any application submitted before March 31, 2020 was applicable

Punjab Sahit Ratan award money increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh

  • The pension of the Punjabi writers increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000

The 15th Finance Commission presented Punjab’s case well and increased devolution by 0.23 percent, which will translate Rs 1500 crore additional devolutions this year: FM


Freedom fighter pension increased from Rs 7,500 to Rs 9,500


Two technical colleges to be upgraded to universities


A new scheme for monitoring water quality for arsenic affected villages


Punjab govt to waive farm loans, provide power subsidy 

  • Loans worth Rs 1,186 crore of 1.13 lakh farmers and Rs 526 crore of landless farmers in 2021-22 to be waived
  • Rs 7,180 crore to go as free power subsidy for farmers

Proposed Rs 150 core for Punjab Innovation fund

  • Fund to invest in early-stage start-ups, government's participation in the fund will be a maximum of 10 per cent of the corpus: FM 
  • All districts to have district bureau of industry & investment promotion offices. In the first phase Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, SAS Nagar, Patiala and Bathinda will be covered

Rs 100 crore museum on Baba Sahib Ambedkar to be set up in Kapurthala


Old age pension increased to Rs 1500: FM


Government to increase the allocation under The Aashirwad scheme from Rs 21,000 to Rs 51,000: PM


In all government buses, women will travel for free: FM


FM Badal announces two new medical colleges and hospital 

  • The colleges will be set up at Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur, entailing an expenditure of Rs 650 crore.
  • A unit of Tata Memorial Hospital at Mullanpur to be completed using Rs 450 crore
  • Virology centres will be set up at the Government Medical College Amritsar and the National Institute of Virology at Mohali.

Eight new maternal and child health wings

  • The wings will be set up in subdivisional hospitals at Talwandi Sabo, Nabha, Patti, Dera Bassi Muktsar, Gurdaspur, Bhawanigarh and Raikot.
  • Rs 92 crore allocated for up-gradation of Government Medical College, Patiala 

Badal presents the last Budget of the present Capt Amarinder Singh government

  1. Budget size is Rs 1,38,015 crore
  2. The state’s debt has risen to Rs 2,73,730 crore, with the debt to GSDP ratio of an unprecedented Rs 45.05 crore

The sixth pay commission for employees to be implemented from July 1 this year.

The report to be submitted before March 31. The arrears will be given in instalments and Rs 9,000 crore has been set aside for the same.


Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh chairs a cabinet meeting ahead of the budget presentation in the state.


Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal leaves his residence ahead of presenting the state budget 2021-22 in the Vidhan Sabha. 

Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal. Tribune photo/Pradeep Tiwari

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