BHOPAL: 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 on Wednesday.
Presenting 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, finance minister Jayant Mallaiya announced that State Government employees will get the benefit of the Seventh Pay Commission from January 1, 2016 and will be paid hiked salaries from July 1, 2017.The minister later clarified that the pensioners too will be eligible for the new scales. He hiked VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) from 4 per cent to 25 per cent for fuelling at Indore and Bhopal airports, thus making the air travel dearer from these two cities. 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, Malaiya said presenting his fifth consecutive Budget.
In his interaction with the media, the FM ruled out any reduction in the VAT rates on petroleum products in the state – which are the highest in the country. “Unlike industrialised states like Maharashtra and Punjab, 35 per cent of our tax revenue comes from VAT on petroleum products”, he said.
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. 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. Malaiya said benefits available to Army personnel at defence canteen stores will be extended to staffers from CISF, CRPF and ITBF, Assam Rifles (AR) and Border Security Force (BSF).
Seventh pay commission benefits will be provided to government employees retrospectively from January 1, 2016 and cash benefits from July, 2017 salary.
Budget in figures
The budget envisages a total net expenditure of Rs 1.69 lakh crore, with a revenue surplus of Rs 4596 crore. The fiscal deficit in the next financial year is expected to be Rs 25,688 crore. The revenue receipts are estimated to be Rs 1.39 lakh crore of which Rs 50,000 crore will come from the state’s own tax revenue and Rs 51,000 crore as share in central taxes. The state expects to receive Rs 26,000 crore as grant-in-aid from the central government while its non-tax revenue will be Rs 11,679 crore. Fiscal deficit will be 3.49 per cent of GSDP, which, the minister said, was within the 3.5 per cent limit prescribed by the Madhya Pradesh Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2005.
- Rs 600 cr Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
- CAT scan and MRI facilities in all district hospitals.
- Aadhaar made mandatory for e-registration of properties.
- NCERT books to be introduced in state government schools.
- Rs 10 cr for Adiguru Shankaracharya ‘Vedant Peeth’ at Omkareshwar
- Rs 9 cr for ‘Vir Bharat Nyas’ to preserve the memories of martyrs.
- Rs 102 cr for plantations along the banks of Narmada River
- Rs 700 cr for ‘Amrit Yojana’ drinking water, sewerage systems
- Five lakh residential units to be built in 379 urban areas by 2018 under PM Awas Yojana
- Private doctors to be allowed ‘limited use’ of infrastructure for surgical procedures in govt hospitals.
- Rs 700 crore for Smart City project in Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur (underway), Gwalior and Ujjain (included later) and Sagar and Satna (in second phase)
With the GST set to be implemented from July this year, the FM refrained from making major changes in the tax structure, barring enhancing the VAT on ATF sold at Bhopal and Indore airports from 4 per cent to 25 per cent.
Rs 5/ meal for poor
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.
Widows to get pension
Starting next financial year, all categories of widows in the State will be entitled to avail the Social Security Pension scheme. The amount paid under the scheme had been increased to Rs 300 from Rs 150. A a provision of Rs 1,501 crore has been made for the same in the Budget. The widows, who are either gainfully employed or already availing family pension, have been kept out of the purview of the scheme.
Incentives for docs opting to work in villages
Government announced incentives for doctors opting to work in rural areas. Doctors working in PHCs in rural areas will get 20 per cent of their salary (including dearness allowance) as “compensatory allowance” while the rate will be 25 per cent for those working in notified rural areas. The specialist doctors working in 30-bedded Community Health Centres in small towns will be entitled to ‘compensatory allowance’ at the rate of 20 and 25 per cent in notified and other areas respectively.
Rs 1000 cr for Medhavi Vidhayarthi Yojana
A corpus of Rs 1000 crore to be created for funding the Mukhyamantri Medhavi Vidhayarthi Yojana, under which the government will foot the tuition fees of students clearing the MPBSE 12th grade examination with 85% or higher marks and taking admissions in national-level institutions or in institutions financed by the state government. Students clearing examinations from schools affiliated to CBSE and other Boards would not be covered under the scheme
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