Sops for urban poor, widows, government employees in Madhya Pradesh Budget

Meal for Rs 5 to the urban poor, pension to widows and Seventh Pay Commission benefits to employees were key highlights of Madhya Pradesh's Budget for 2017-2018 presented in the Assembly today.

Madhya Pradesh finance minister Jayant Malaiya’s wife puts a tilak on his forehead as he leaves his residence in Bhopal to present annual budget in the assembly on Wednesday. (PTI)

Meal for Rs 5 to the urban poor, pension to widows and Seventh Pay Commission benefits to employees were key highlights of Madhya Pradesh’s Budget for 2017-2018 presented in the Assembly today. Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya presented a Rs 1,85,564.27-crore Budget for the State, which goes to the polls in end-2018, with a revenue surplus of Rs 4596.40 crore He hiked VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) sold for fuelling at Indore and Bhopal airports, thus making the air travel dearer from these two cities. “The state has remained a revenue surplus state since 2004-05 and the same situation is expected to continue in 2017 -18. The fiscal deficit for 2017-18 is estimated to be Rs 25688.97 crore, which is within the 3.5 per cent limit prescribed under the Madhya Pradesh Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2005,” said Malaiya, presenting his fifth consecutive Budget. “State Government employees will get the benefit of the Seventh Pay Commission from January 1, 2016 and will be paid hiked salaries from July 2017,” he said. “The total appropriation amount is Rs 1,85,564.27 crore, while the net expenditure would be Rs 1,69,954.46 crore. There will be a revenue surplus of Rs 4596.40 crore for 2017-18,” the Finance Minister said.

The Government has proposed to raise VAT on ATF from 4 per cent to 25 per cent for fuelling at Indore and Bhopal airports. However, VAT on ATF sold at Gwalior, Jabalpur and Khajuraho airports would remain at 4 per cent, while the jet fuel will be 1 per cent at the remaining airstrips, he said.

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In order to provide food at subsided rate to the poor in urban areas, the Minister announced Deendayal Rasoi Yojna and said a sum of Rs 10 crore will be allocated for creating necessary infrastructure to implement the scheme.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan later announced that meal will be provided to the poor for Rs 5 initially in four major cities.

The Finance Minister allocated Rs 19,872.89 crore for school education, up from Rs 18,094.04 crore in 2016-17.

Among other sectors, he earmarked Rs 16801.62 crore for energy, Rs 14387.50 crore for rural development, Rs 11489.03 crore for urban development and allocated Rs 8576.17 crore to the Public Works Department.

In order to provide pension to unemployed widows, the Government has made a provision of Rs 1,501 crore in the Budget, he said.

The Government has made Aadhaar number mandatory for e-registration of properties.

The Budget proposed to hike subsidy for MP residents undertaking pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.

The Finance Minister included more destinations like Ujjain, Maihar, Orchha, Chitrakut, Omkareshwar and Maheshwar under the Mukhyamantri Tirth Darshan Yojana.

The Budget earmarked Rs 600 crore towards the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Malaiya said benefits available to Army personnel at defence canteen stores will be extended to staffers from Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indo Tibet Board Police (ITBF), Assam Rifles (AR) and Border Security Force (BSF).

The Government made a budgetary allocation of Rs 10 crore for setting up a ‘Vedant Peeth’ at Omkareshwar as a mark of respect to Adiguru Shankaracharya. In addition, a ‘Vir Bharat Nyas’ will be set up with an initial provision of Rs 9 crore to preserve the memories of martyrs.

An amount of Rs 102-crore was allocated for the plantation and horticulture work on the banks of river Narmada.

Malaiya said the Government has adopted the policy of containing liquor consumption. “Sixty-six liquor shops falling within 5km of Narmada’s banks would be closed from April 1. Besides, 1,427 liquor shops located on highways would be shifted. A de-addiction campaign would also be launched.”

The Minister informed that no new liquor shop has been opened in the State since 2011.

In an effort to improve e-governance infrastructure, Malaiya allocated Rs 25 crore for the expansion of state data centre.

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