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Posted at: Feb 19, 2019, 6:54 AM; last updated: Feb 19, 2019, 9:42 AM (IST)PUNJAB BUDGET 2019-20

Punjab Budget: Loans of farmers who committed suicide to be waived

Fuel rates cut, welfare schemes for Dalits, jobless and farmhand

Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 18  

Rationalisation of VAT on petroleum products in line with the neighbouring states, bringing down petrol prices and loan waiver for families of farmers who had killed themselves over mounting farm debts were among measures that formed populist part of Punjab government’s 2019 Budget.

As Punjab’s Finance Minister Manpreet Badal tabled the state Budget, his speech was interrupted repeatedly by a furious opposition that was protesting Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s remarks after the militant attack in Pulwama killed 40 CRPF troopers.    

Key points in Budget

*The budget promises to rationalise the VAT rates on petroleum products in line with neighbouring states. This parity in VAT rates will bring relief to consumers

*The state has revised the VAT rationalisation announced in the budget

*Petrol will be cheaper by Rs 5 per litre, diesel by Re 1 from midnight

*All revenue courts to be digitised

*100 new ordinary buses to operated in the state: 13 new bus stands to be set up

*Free power to SC/BC/BPL consumers to cost Rs 1,916 crore

*Rs 4.38 crore proposed for cleaning of Budha Nullah in Ludhiana

*Two new boards--Border Area Development Board and Kandi Development Board--announced

*Rs 296 crore for development of Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar as smart cities

*Rs 200 crore reserved for providing canal-based water to Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala

*Medical colleges to be set up at Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Sangrur

*15 new ITIs to be set up

*Allocations of all state-run universities have been increased by 6 per cent

*Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan to be subsumed in Samagraha Shiksha Abhiyan

*New scheme--Pendu Awaas Yojana--announced to provide housing to poor; Rs 20 crore announced

*Smart village campaign to be announced

*Residential school for special children at Ludhiana to be set up at Rs 15 crore

*Old-age homes to be set up in Barnala and Mansa, Rs 31.14 crore reserved for this

*Rs 100 crore for Ashirwad Scheme; Rs 21,000 for SC, BC, widows, divorcees and daughters of widows, to be given for their marriage

*Rs 938.71 crore allocated for SC scholarship schemes

*Food streets to be set up at Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Bathinda to promote Punjabi cuisine

*Rs 5 crore for support to Jallianwala Bagh on its 100th anniversary

*Rs 25 crore set aside for Dera Baba Nanak authority, which would be set up

*Ten industrial units in Mandi Gobindgarh, which had remained shut for five years, have been revived

*FM says a wood-based industrial park to be set up in Punjab

*FM says all that govt needs to control the drug menace will be given to the health dept

*Punjab Agri Export Corporation to come up soon

*Rs 8,969 crore for free power subsidy to farmers and Rs 1,513 crore for free power subsidy to industry

*To commemorate the 550th Parkash Parb of Guru Nanak, a heritage museum--Pind Babe Nanak Da-- to be set up at Sultanpur Lodhi

*Amritsar to be developed as iconic city; Rs 10 crore announced for this

*New scheme Make in Punjab to promote goods manufactured and produced in Punjab. As per this policy, purchase preference to be given to local suppliers of up to 50 per cent of total quantity

*Iconic sports complex announced for Jalandhar

*New scheme Mera Kamm, Mera Maan to help in skilling and wage employment. A sum of Rs 90 crore allocated

*FM claims 1.13 lakh youth provided employment under state government Ghar Ghar Rozgar Scheme

*Rs 375 crore allocated for distribution of machinery for crop residue management to solve the problem of paddy straw burning

*Loans of landless farm labourers and of families of farmers who have committed suicide will be waived; Rs 3,000 crore allocated for the purpose

*Allocation to develop rural and urban infrastructure hiked by 36.08 per cent and 19.94 per cent

*Allocation in Education and Health increased by 9.75 per cent and 10.87 per cent

*Allocations in agriculture and allied activities hiked to Rs 13,643 crore--an increase of Rs 159 crore

*Manpreet says that after several years, the state is in primary surplus

*The unfunded gap in the budget will be reduced from Rs 4,175 crore in the current fiscal to Rs 2,323 crore in 2019-20

*No new taxes

*The state will have a revenue deficit of Rs 11,687 crore in 2019-20 and a fiscal deficit of Rs 19,658 crore

*The state’s debt burden will rise from Rs 2,12,276 crore to Rs 2,29,612 crore

*After taking into account the ways and means advances, the budget size of Punjab is Rs 1,58,493 crore

*Manpreet Badal presents a budget of Rs 90,197 crore



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