Budget to focus on social & infra sectors

Written by Preeti Parashar | New Delhi | Updated: Mar 2 2011, 16:12pm hrs
With the state Assembly session to begin on March 4, Haryanas budget 12 is expected to be presented on March 8 or 9. The focus of the budget likely to be on infrastructure and social sectors and the Planning Commission has already approved its plan size of R20,358 crore which is 11.49% more in comprison to R18,260 crore last year. The gross state domestic product (GSDP) is expected to grow at 9% at constant (2004-05) prices in FY2010-11. Haryana finance minister Ajay Singh Yadav , shares the growth parameters for FY 12 in a tete-e-tete with FE Preeti Parashar. Excerpts

What is the annual plan size of the budget 2011-12 and what will be the focus areas

The annual plan size of the state budget for the next fiscal has been kept at R 20,358 crore. The final date of budget presentation will be decided by the business advisory committee. The budget will focus on infrastructure, agriculture and social sectors like education, healthcare etc. Top priority has been given to social services, for which an outlay of

R 6,676.52 crore ( 50.58%) has been kept out of the states net plan outlay of R13,200 crore. Emphasis will also be laid on water conservation, since Haryana has declared the year 2011 as the year of water conservation. Various schemes are already on to conserve water in the state and to revive various lakes in Kurukshetra, Mewat, Jhajjar and Sirsa. These will act as reservoirs in case of floods and will help recharge the fast depleting ground water table in the state.

Have you asked the Centre for specific funds

In the pre-Budget meeting with Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, we had asked for special grant in aid for upgradation of Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar so as to make it as a premiere university. Earlier the Centre had allocated funds to the Punjab Agriculture University for development purpose. We also want funds for the establishment of an animal husbandry university in the state. The state also wants more funds under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojna and Central Reserve Fund for betterment of state roads.

Which social issues you plan to tackle in the budget this year

Gender issue is a big challenge to be tackled. The state has merely 845 girls against 1,000 boys whereas the national ratio is 927:1,000. We plan to allocate more funds towards schemes to curb the menace of female foeticide. Another issue to be addressed is malnutrition and more funds will be allocated to tackle it. Our vision is to improve the per capita income of the state, bring in more foreign direct investment in various fields and strengthen the irrigation system of the state.

What are your views on the revised land acquisition policy of the state

I feel there is still scope for improvement in the policy. It should be made more farmer-friendly and taken up under the public private partnership mode where the farmers are made partners. If the state government acquires any land from the farmers, I recommend that 25% of the land should be given back to the farmer after development. Then its upto the farmer whether he wants to sell the land or rent it out to industries. This way, he will still be connected to his roots and will find a permanent livelihood. I also suggest that instead of fertile land, barren land should be acquired for industrial development.

What will be the growth drivers for the state in FY 2011-12

Value Added Tax (VAT) collection has seen an increase of 28% over last year and it is expected to bring revenue of Rs 12,000 crore by March end. It is expected to see a growth of further 2% in the next fiscal. Excise collection has risen by 9% and it is expected to bring revenue of around Rs 2,250 crore by this fiscal end. Next year the excise collection is expected to be around Rs 2,500 crore. We will lay emphasis on agricultural growth by involving the scientists and organising kisan melas where the farmers can be given guidance to improve soil productivity. We need a second green revolution in the state and we can achieve that by giving more subsidies to the farmers.