In a desperate bid to retain power as the state goes to polls later this year, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel presented the final budget of his current regime on Monday amid much fanfare and thumping of desk by Congress legislators in the Assembly.
Baghel made a series of announcements to woo every section of society including unemployed youths whom he has provisioned Rs 2500 per month as unemployment allowance.
The total annual outlay for the fiscal 2023-24 has been kept at 1,21,500 crore with no fresh taxes levied. The Congress has termed the budget as ‘Bharose Ka Budget' and claimed that people would definitely repose faith in upcoming assembly polls in Baghel government for its ‘outstanding performance in all sectors'.
Baghel claimed in his budget speech that Chhattisgarh model of development has got international recognition. The opposition BJP watered down on Baghel's claims of development and termed the budget ‘extremely disappointing' and said Congress would not return to power this year for its gross neglect to development.
The Congress government has put school education on top of the priority and earmarked Rs 19,489 crore for the department while Rs 10,329 crore for Panchayat and Rural Development and over Rs 10,070 crore for Agriculture department with a theme ‘Gadbo Nava Chhattisgarh'.
Baghel has made several announcements to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore to unlock infrastructure projects for urban areas including a light metro project from his home district Durg to Nava Raipur, the administrative capital of the state.
Baghel, who also holds the finance portfolio, announced setting up four new medical colleges in Manendragarh, Janjgir-Champa, Kabirdham and Naxal-infested Geedam in Dantewada district for which he has provisioned Rs 200 crore. The medical college provision for Geedam has been widely appreciated by intellectuals.
The Anganwadi workers have cheered the budget announcement of a steep hike in their monthly honorarium to Rs 10,000 from Rs 6500. Even Baghel made attempts to appease journalists as he announced Rs 50 lakh for interest subversion on housing loans up to Rs 25 lakh under a scheme titled Journalist Housing Loan Grant Scheme.
( 364 Words)