Agri bags lion's share in Rs 1.96 lakh cr. Punjab budget
20 per cent increase in allocation for agriculture and allied sectors over last year. The annual budget for 2023-24 has gone up by 26 per cent compared to the previous year and a quick analysis reveals that agriculture has bagged the lion's share.
The Rs 1.96-lakh-crore Punjab budget for 2023-24 presented in the state Assembly on Friday shows a 20 per cent increase in allocation for agriculture and allied sectors over last year. The annual budget for 2023-24 has gone up by 26 per cent compared to the previous year and a quick analysis reveals that agriculture has bagged the lion's share.
Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema proposed Rs 13,888 crore for agriculture and allied sector, up by 20 per cent. He said the government will soon come out with a new agriculture policy for which a committee of experts have been set up. A sum of Rs 1,000 crore has been allocated for crop diversification, while a revolving fund for Basmati crop purchase has been set up, he said.
The government has decided to launch a risk mitigation crop insurance scheme -Bhaav Antar Bhugtan Yojana. Cheema said that Rs 125 crore has been allocated for direct sowing of paddy and moong crop purchase. On the stubble burning issue, he said that there has been a 30 per cent drop in incidents. A free power subsidy of Rs 9,331 crore for the farm sector has been earmarked for 2023-24. After coming to power in March 2022, the AAP government first passed a vote-on-account on March 22 and then it presented its budget in June for the remaining part of the year.
Cheema also chose health and education segments as other key areas in the first full budget of the AAP government. On the health sector, he said 10.50 lakh people have been treated in 'Aam Aadmi Clinics' in the state so far. He said 26,797 jobs have been given so far by the Bhagwant Mann government.
The Uttar Pradesh government in its annual budget too has increased allocation under various heads in agriculture and allied sectors. The state government presented the budget in February, earmarking Rs 631.93 crore for National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, Rs 113.52 crore for National Mission on Natural Farming, and Rs 1,950 crore for supply of electricity to private tube wells for farmers at subsidised rates.
It pegged Rs 984.54 crore for National Agriculture Development Scheme, Rs 753.70 crore for National Crop Insurance Scheme, and Rs 55.6 crore for the implementation of UP millets revival programme. The budget proposed Rs 102.81 crore for Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Kisan Samriddhi Yojana, Rs 100 crore for Self-reliant Farmer Integrated Scheme, and Rs 15 crore each for pulses and oilseeds seed mini-kit distribution scheme.