After Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday announced the restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS) for government employees during the budget for the year 2022-2023. Chhattisgarh is the second state to reintroduce the old pension scheme for government employees that provides an assured income after retirement.
To prepare for the 2023 assembly elections, Baghel had advised Rahul Gandhi that after MNREGA, reverting to the OPS will attract various sections of the people and will strengthen their hold in the state. Baghel ditched the colonial legacy of a budget briefcase for a ‘Bahi Khata’ and carried the state Budget Papers in the briefcase made from cow dung powder.
Moreover, on the direction of Rahul Gandhi, CM Baghel in the Budget also announced an increase in annual assistance under the Rajiv Gandhi Bhumihin Krishi Majdur Nyay Yojana from 6,000 to 7,000 per annum from the next year to attract landless agricultural labourers.
The Chief Minister also announced a slew of initiatives which include waiving the examination fees for Chhattisgarh domicile applicants in all professional examinations, provision of Rs 580 crore under the Prime Minister Ayushman Bharat Yojana, National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, as he tried to touch every section of the society.
Realizing Mahatma Gandhi’s mantra of extending the benefits of the government’s welfare schemes to the last person of the society, CM Baghel announced a Budget of Rs 1,04,000 crore with the main focus on sectors like agriculture, employment, health, education and infrastructure.
Baghel announced the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme proposal at Rs 1,702 crore.
Delivering his budget speech, Baghel said the state government has created new employment opportunities through the implementation of programmes such as Godhan Nyay Yojana, the constitution of Tea-Coffee Board, equal status of fisheries and production of agriculture, Millet Mission and commercial plantation.
He said that the finished products in the industrial parks will be selected keeping in view the skills of the stakeholders, the raw materials available, the demand among the consumers and the transportation and transportation facilities.
Based on the “Chhattisgarh Model”, annual assistance of Rs 10,000 per acre will be given to the farmers under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyaya Yojana.
Another major announcement in the Budget is to provide free electricity up to 5 horsepower proposed at Rs 2,600 crore, the initiative will target 4.80 lakh farmers for use of agriculture pumps.
He also announced the provision of Rs 2 crore for Chhattisgarh Rojgaar Mission to work on the possibilities of creating new jobs by coordinating the skill development programme run in urban and rural areas in technical development programs with various innovative schemes and taking advantage of the expertise of specialized educational institutions located in the State.
To ensure the quality of education in English medium, Baghel announced the construction of new buildings for 18 government colleges, additional classrooms in 22 government colleges. New courses in 16 graduate colleges and 23 post-graduate colleges have also been added.