Health, agriculture get major push in Haryana Budget


Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday presented a deficit Budget of Rs 1.55 lakh crore for the financial year 2021-22 with no provision of tax.

Presenting the Budget estimates in the Assembly here, Khattar, who also holds the finance portfolio, proposed a Budget of Rs 1,55,645 crore, an increase of 13 per cent over the previous fiscal’s Budget of Rs 1,37,738 crore.

Presenting his second Budget, the Chief Minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and “taught us several lessons”.

“It is important for the Budget to prioritise specific sectors that are key to leverage a rebound in the economy, particularly in times of crisis. We have identified health, agriculture and infrastructure as key priority areas that need to be focussed on for recovery and resurgence,” he said.

Khattar also announced free education from class IX to XII for all categories in the government schools. He is also aiming to achieve a minimum of one lakh job linkages for the youth in the private sector in the coming fiscal.

Amid farmers’ protest against the three Central farm laws, the Chief Minister said that his government is committed to doubling the peasants’ income and ensuring their well-being.

He also announced a slew of schemes to aid soil health and crop choices, crop residue management, crop diversification, zero budget farming, organic and natural farming and procurement.

The Chief Minister launched the ‘Mukhyamantri Antyodya Parivar Utthan Abhiyan’ scheme for the poorest one lakh families in the state.

Despite the year-long pandemic, the Budget estimates for FY 2021-22 indicates an increase of Rs 10,084 crore in revenue expenditure as compared to the revised estimates of FY 2020-21.

As per the FY 2021-22 Budget estimates, the revenue deficit is estimated to be at Rs 29,193 crore (3.29 per cent of the GSDP) as compared to Rs 20,856 crore revenue deficit in the current fiscal.

The state’s debt liability is likely to go up to Rs 229,976 crore as on March 2022 from Rs 199,823 crore as on March 2021, constituting 25.92 per cent of the GSDP.

To reduce air pollution from stubble burning by the farmers, Khattar proposed a comprehensive management plan for its management on site and at other locations.

Steps have been initiated to install 100 compressed bio-gas and bio-mass plants for utilisation of crop residue in association with the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, he said.

There is a proposal to establish a new milk plant in the southern part of the state that will cover the NCR with a packaging capacity of three lakh litre per day, extendable to five lakh litre.

The Chief Minister said the government is considering a proposal to bring a policy for performance-indexing of the municipalities at municipal corporation as well as municipal council or committee level so as to create a positive atmosphere of healthy competition among these bodies.