Punjab budget’s this announcement may cheer Delhites; here’s what it plans to do to check air pollution

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Updated: Feb 28, 2020 4:22 PM

Punjab Budget 2020: The Punjab government allocated Rs 20 crore for crop residue management so as to subsidise farmers not to burn stubble.

In the education sector, the budget allocated Rs 13,092 crore and Rs 4,675 crore for the health sector.

Punjab Budget 2020: The Punjab government allocated Rs 20 crore for crop residue management so as to subsidise farmers not to burn stubble. The stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Delhi including Haryana and Punjab contributes to the higher levels of air pollution during the winters. Sustained stubble burning added to the smog levels in November 2019, a marked rise from the levels seen in 2018. The air pollution level under the ‘very poor’ category lasted for 72 days in 2019. On Friday, the Punjab government tabled a Rs 1.54 lakh crore budget for FY21 in the state assembly. Among the big measures, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal announced a waiver of debt worth Rs 520 crore for landless farm labourers. In the education sector, the budget allocated Rs 13,092 crore and Rs 4,675 crore for the health sector.

Other than reducing retirement age to 58 years, the budget announced six per cent dearness allowance to the state government employees. The sixth Pay Commission recommendations will be implemented in FY21, the budget also proposed. Manpreet Badal further said ‘mandi fee’ — the fee levied on the sale and purchase of agriculture produce — on fruits and vegetables will be reduced from four per cent to one per cent.

The budget also proposed revenue receipts of Rs 88,004 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs 95,716 crore for fiscal year 2020-21.He further said the revenue deficit for financial year 2020-21 will be Rs 7,712 crore and the fiscal deficit will be Rs 18,828 crore respectively. “Inspired of the daunting challenges before us, we have been able to maintain the fiscal deficit at 2.61 per cent in 2017-18 and 3.08 per cent in 2018-19 as against the budget estimates of 4.96 per cent and 3.81 per cent for respective years,” Badal said. He also projected outstanding debt of Rs 2,48,236 crore for 2020-21 as against 2019-20 revised estimates of Rs 2,28,906 crore.

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