Himachal Budget 2022: CM Jai Ram Thakur promises 30,000 new jobs, says state's debt remains point of worry – The Tribune India

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Updated At: Mar 05, 2022 06:00 AM (IST)
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is presenting Budget 2022-23 at Vidhan Sabha in Shimla on Friday.  Tribune photo
Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan
Shimla, March 4
Despite this being an election year, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur desisted from announcing major elections sops to woo the electorate, considering the grim financial health of the State as he presented a “feel good tax-free”  budget of Rs 51,365 crore for the financial year 2022-23.
Thakur, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented his fifth budget in the last year of his term for the financial year 2022-23, with assembly elections due later this year. Thakur announced 10 new schemes while promising to create 30,000 jobs in the government and private sector. “Despite the financial health of the state not being very rosy due to Covid, I have tried my best to address the issues of every section, be it women, employees, farmers, and the under-privileged,” he said.
The most worrisome factor in the budget remains the galloping debt burden, which has touched Rs 62,300 crore. With mounting committed liabilities on account of salaries, pensions, interest and loan repayment, what is left for development works is a mere Rs 29 in every Rs 100. The announcement for an increase in MLA Area Development Fund from Rs 1.80 crore to Rs 2 crore and MLA Discretionary Grant from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh was met with thumping of tables by both the treasury and opposition benches.
“With the farm sector coming as major help during the Covid pandemic, which has helped us improve our growth rate, I have tried to announce several schemes for this crucial sector,” said Thakur.
Thakur while announcing 10 new schemes in the budget made an unprecedented increase of almost three times in spending in the social security cover as Rs 1,300 crore will be spent on providing pension to 7.50 lakh persons. The age limit for old age, widow and destitute women monthly pension has been reduced to 60 years and an enhancement made from Rs 700  to Rs 1,000, pension for those above 70 years hiked from Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,500 and pension for lepers and transgender up from Rs 700 to Rs 850 per month.
As a tribute to Satyanand Stokes, credited with introducing apple in Himachal, CM announced the development of a Kotgarh-Thanedhar trail on his 75th death anniversary. Another unique feature of this budget has been the introduction of a separate Gender Budget statement, highlighting the major schemes devoted towards women’s welfare and empowerment.
Thakur announced a quantum jump in the honorarium being given to elected representatives of urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions including the mayor, councillors, Zila Parishad, and Panchayat Samiti heads and members.
Giving a major thrust to the farm sector, CM announced that 50,000 acres of land will be brought under natural farming and four new grain mandis would be developed at a cost of Rs 15 crore. Irrigation facilities will be made available in 9,000 hectares of additional land in the horticulture sector and a new 5,000 MT capacity cold store will be set up at Parala Mandi at a cost of Rs 60.93 crore. Besides, 13 market yards will be developed and upgraded under JICA aided project Phase-II.
The proposals include the construction of 1,500 km roads to be constructed under Pradhan Mantra Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

30,000 news jobs will be created in 2022-23: Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur
CM says Lata Mangeshkar Sangeet Mahavidyala will be set up as a tribute to the late singer.
He said two cyber crime police cells will be set up at Mandi and Dharamshala. 
CM said despite covid, the excise and tax collections had risen by 15 per cent to Rs 9,282 crore.
He said 1,500 kms roads will be made under PM Gramin Sadan Yojana.  CM announced an outlay of Rs 350 crore for periodical maintenance of roads to tourist destinations from six to three years.
CM announces Mukhya Mantri Mobile Clinic scheme where one mobile clinic for basic treatments in every assembly segment will be provided. He said 500 posts of Assistant Medical Officers will be recruited to enhance doctors cadre. To promote tapping of solar energy, he announced several incentives.  He announced five major drinking water schemes, including one for AIIMS, Bilaspur.
CM announces budgetary allocation of Rs 8,412 crores for education department.
He announces hike in honorarium of Mayor MC to Rs 15,000, of Deputy Mayor to Rs 10,000, MC councillors to Rs 6,050, president of Nagar Panchayat to Rs 8,000 and for vice-chairman to Rs 6,500
CM announces Rs 5 crore for creating livelihood for urban youth while a Bill will be tabled in the assembly for fixing eligibility criterion.
CM announces a scheme Asahaya Bal Punarvas Yojana for rehabilitation of orphan and destitute children.
CM announces an allocation of Rs 352 crores for Panchayati Raj institutions. He announced increase in honorarium of Chairman of Zila Parishad to Rs 15,000, Vice President Zila Parishad to Rs 10,000, Member ZP to Rs 6,000, President Panchayat Samiti to Rs 9,000, Vice-President of Panchayat Samiti to Rs 6,550, member PS to Rs 5,550, Pradhan Gram Panchayat to Rs 5,550 and UP Pradhan to Rs 3,500.
CM hiked the grant given for widow remarriage from Rs 50,000 to Rs 75,000.
He announced construction of 1,000 new buildings for Anganwaris at a cost of Rs 70 crores. He said Model Anganwari Kendra’s will be set up at a cost of Rs 32 crore.
CM announces creating a Gender Budget and preparing an action plan with the help of Niti Ayog for women and new-born children.
CM announces hike in pension of destitute women from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,150, for those between 60 to 79 years up from Rs 850 to Rs 1,100 and for those above 70 years and disabled from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,700.  He said Rs 1,300 crore would be spent in the budget on providing social security pension to 7.50 lakh eligible persons.
CM announces reduction in old-age pension from 65 to 60 years, irrespective of income criteria. He announced that social security pensions were being given to 6.35 lakh and 40,000 new persons will be added to the list this year in 2022-23. 
CM announces a budgetary allocation of Rs 72 crore for the Animal Husbandry department and incentives for purchase boats and nets for fisherman.
CM announces setting up of five new Gau Sadans and enhanced the amount being given for maintenance of one cow from Rs 500 to Rs 700 for NGO’s. Seven mobile veterinary vans will be started at a cost of Rs 7 crore.
CM announces several schemes in the Horticulture sector like two Centre of excellence at a cost of Rs 18 crore and made an outlay of Rs 540 crores for the Horticulture sector.
CM announces setting up of anaj mandi’s at Rampur, Una, Bilaspur and Kangra at a cost is Rs 15 crore. 
CM says Ujjawala and Grahini Suvidha Yojana schemes would be continued and three free LPG cylinders would be provided for which an allocation of Rs 70 crore was being made in the budget.
CM announces enhancement of MLA Area Development Fund from Rs 1.80 crore to two crore and MLA’s Discretionary Fund.
CM says as compared to execution of 789 schemes worth Rs 3,200 crores under NABARD during 5 year Congress rule, in the last four years we have executed 3,452 schemes.
CM Thakur says despite Covid, state is expected to register a growth of 8.3 per cent in this financial despite a negative growth of minus 6.2 percent in 2020-21.
Chief Minister starts his budget speech in the Vidhan Sabha as he presents the budget proposals for the financial year 2022-23.
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