Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday described his government’s first budget as balanced, development-oriented and pro-people, hailing it as a roadmap for a ”New Punjab”.
Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Monday presented the state budget for the 2022-23 financial year. The government did not propose any new tax.
”I congratulate Finance Minister Harpal Cheema for presenting a historic budget which was made in consultation with the common man,” the chief minister said.
Presenting the budget in the state assembly, Cheema said that in the first year, the focus will be to restore the deteriorating fiscal health, deliver on the promises of good governance and concentrate on health, agriculture and education.
Describing the budget as balanced, development-oriented and reflective of pro-people policies of the state government, the chief minister issued a statement saying the budget has been drafted to bring a revolution in the sectors of education, health, agriculture and commerce.
He said the government would soon fulfil all the poll promises the party made to the people.
Drastic reforms will be visible soon in the fiscal sector, Mann added.
The chief minister said the budget aims to serve the weakest of the weak and the poorest of the poor sections of society in the right earnest.
The budget was the outcome of the state government’s pragmatic approach to achieve the objective of overall development and progress of the state, and prosperity of its people in a holistic manner, he said.
Mann said the budget would certainly boost the tempo of all-round development of the state, besides empowering women and the weaker sections of the society.
He said the budget allocation for technical education has been enhanced by 48 per cent which will help open new vistas of self-employment for youngsters, and Rs 9,449 crore has been kept for strengthening the law and order situation in the state.
Enhancing the budget allocations for medical education and research by 57 per cent, youth and youth services department by 52 per cent, health department by 24 per cent, employment generation by 32 per cent, and industry and commerce by 48 per cent will give impetus to growth and progress of the state, Mann said.
He said provisions for construction of 16 medical colleges, transformation of government schools into schools of eminence and several other initiatives would go a long way in the development of state.
The chief minister expressed hope that the budget would also bring in far more financial discipline with economic prudence in narrowing down the fiscal deficit with a focus on the enhancement of revenues through resource mobilisation.
He said special allocation of funds to combat the problem of drug abuse, besides making budgetary provisions for health, education and eradication of unemployment among youngsters, and path-breaking steps to keep fiscal stress in check have been incorporated in the budget.
These speak volumes of the state government’s commitment to take on the issues on war-footing, Mann added.