In the Budget 2023-24 presentation, Sukhu announced that the HP government has decided to make Himachal Pradesh a "model state for electrical vehicles."
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu presented his maiden budget for the state of Himachal Pradesh with an outlay of Rs 53,413 crore on Friday. Imposing a new cow cess of Rs 10 per liquor bottle, Sukhu also made some key announcements on pension schemes and electronic vehicles.
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The move to impose Cow cess will fetch additional revenue of Rs 100 crore per annum, Sukhu said. He also announced a fixed monthly payment for women and subsidies for EVs to fulfil some of his election promises.
In the "Green Budget 2023-24" presentation, Sukhu said he will introduce a Bill to make Himachal Pradesh drug-free and launched a campaign to make it a "model state for electrical vehicles." He even arrived at the Vidhan Sabha in an electrical vehicle to further push his point.
The government aims to be a green state by March 31, 2026, and is promoting hydropower and solar energy to get there.
This is the first budget of Sukhu's government since the elections in December 2022. Revenue receipts for the Himachal Pradesh Budget 2023 are estimated to be at Rs 42,404 crore. The budget has an outlay of Rs 8,828 crore towards the education sector and Rs 3,139 crore for health.
The former BJP government had presented a budget of Rs 51,365 core in 2022-23. Sukhu's presentation this year was disrupted as his mic kept going off during his speech, leading to chaos. The chief minister responded to Opposition interruptions with poetry.
Here are some of the key announcements of the Himachal Pradesh Budget 2023-2024:
# Decision to make Himachal Pradesh a "model state for electrical vehicles"
# Implementation of the Green hydrogen policy
# Aim to develop as a green state by March 31, 2026
# Parwanoo-Nalagarh-Una, Hamirpur-Amb-Nurpur, Paonta-Nahan-Shimla, Shimla-Bilaspur, Hamirpur-Chamba, Mandi-Pathankot, Manali-Keylong National Highways will be developed as green corridors to reduce emissions
# Two panchayats in each district to be developed as green panchayats
# Solar power projects ranging from 500 MW to 1 KW to be set up
#40 percent subsidy to youth for setting up small hydropower projects of 200 Kw to 2 MW
# Rs 1,000 crore for the conversion of 1,500 diesel buses into electric buses in a phased manner by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation
# Subsidy of Rs 25,000 for the purchase of electric two-wheelers for 20,000 girls studying in government schools in the state
# Water to be purified with gases instead of bleaching powder
# 50 percent subsidy to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh will be given to private bus operators for the purchase of e-buses
# 50 percent subsidy up to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh will be given for private e-truck purchase
# 50 percent subsidy to youth who set up charging stations
# Unemployed youth will be given e-vehicle permits on 500 routes
# Develop Kangra as the tourism capital of Himachal Pradesh
# Connect all 12 districts with a "helicopter facility" costing Rs 30 crore
# Rs 1,000 crore for Mandi airport, Rs 400 crore for Kangra airport
# New township project to be set up at Jatia Devi near Shimla of Rs 1,373 crore
# Bus port will be built in Hamirpur on which Rs 10 crore will be spent.
Education and Employment
# Rs 8,828 for the education sector
# Libraries in all secondary schools
# Tablets for 10,000 meritorious students
# Rs 300 crore to establish a model school in every assembly sector
# Government will fill 30,000 different functional posts
# Provision of self-employment to 500 youths in fisheries
# Increase in MGNREGA daily wages from Rs 212 to Rs 240, and from Rs 266 to Rs 294 in tribal areas
# Honorarium of Rs 4,000 for orphans under the Sukhashraya scheme
# Increase in daily wages by Rs 25 from Rs 350 to Rs 375 for labourers
# Angandwadi workers to get Rs 9,500 per month, Rs 6,600 for mini Anganwadi workers, Rs 5,200 for Anganwadi Sahayika and ASHA workers, Rs 4,400 to those in the water, career, education departments, Rs 4,000 to mid-day mill workers and Rs 4,400 to Jalshakti department workers
# Restoration of the old pension scheme, another poll promise, to benefit 1.36 lakh employees
Women and other minorities
# Outlay of Rs 2,233 crore for women and child development
# Abolishment of age limit for the widow pension scheme, benefits to be extended to disabled people
# Social security pensions for 40,000 new beneficiaries including widows and the disabled
# Monthly assistance of Rs 1,500 for 2.31 lakh women, which will cost Rs 416 crore per year to the exchequer
# Grant of Rs 1.5 lakh each for 7,000 women under CM Vidhva and Ekal Nari Awas Yojna
# Launch housing scheme with 40 percent subsidy for single women
# Subsidy of 80 percent on making ponds for fish farming
# Cultivation of avocados, blueberries and dragonfruits
# Him Ganga scheme to provide appropriate milk rate to farmers
# Loans to farmers at 2 percent interest rates for starting startups
# Outlay of Rs 3,139 for the health sector
# Rs 100 crore to be spent on robotic surgery at six medical colleges
# Setting up one model health institution in each constituency
# PET scan facilities in all medical colleges and nursing colleges in Chamba, Nahan and Hamirpur
# Casualty wards in all medical colleges to be upgraded to emergency medicine departments
# Nursing colleges opened in three medical colleges
# Cow cess of Rs 10 per liquor bottle, fetching revenue of Rs 100 crore pa
# Free electricity and water to the people of HP
# Rs 1,916 crore for the Department of Panchayati Raj (Rural development)
# Work on the expansion of roads
# Increase in the honorarium of Municipal Corporation Mayor to Rs 20,000, Deputy Mayor to get Rs 15,000 and Councilor to get Rs 7,000
# Increase in MLA discretionary fund from Rs 12 lakh to Rs 13 lakh
# Increase in MLA area development fund from Rs 2 crore to Rs 2.10 crore
# Launch a campaign to make Himachal Pradesh drug free and introduce a Bill in the House
# Single window system will end and the Bureau of Investment Promotion will be opened to bring new industrial policy
The chief minister also announced that auction of liquor contracts increased income in several cities by a minimum of 20 percent. There was a 32 percent increase in income in Solan, 40 percent in Kullu, 23 percent in Hamirpur, 66 percent in Kinnaur, and 36 percent in Kangra and Shimla.
The Economic Survey presented in the Vidhan Sabha by Sukhu on Thursday pegged the GDP at constant prices for 2022-23 at Rs 1,34,576 crore against a provisional GDP estimate of Rs 1,26,433 crore for 2021-22.
The GDP of Himachal Pradesh at constant prices will grow by Rs 8,143 crore year-on-year in 2022-23, while growth in real GDP terms will be 6.4 percent in the current fiscal against 7.6 percent in 2021-22.
With agency inputs.
First Published: Mar 17, 2023 11:26 AM IST
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