Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday presented the first complete state Budget of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government with an outlay of Rs 1,96,462 crore.
With the budgetary outlay of Rs 4,781 crore proposed for health and family welfare for 2023-24, which is 11 per cent higher than the previous year, Cheema, in his speech, lauded the AAP government under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for eliminating the "mighty mafia".
"The corrupt who looted the state are behind the bars," Cheema stressed.
Likewise, the government proposes Rs 17,072 crore for school and higher education, which is 12 per cent higher than the previous year.
Highlighting achievements of just a year-old government, he said 10 lakh people got free treatment in Aam Aadmi Clinics since their opening.
The government has opened schools of eminence. A total of 26,797 jobs in government and its agencies have been provided by the government.
Announcing his budget proposals, coincidently on the day the party won by a landslide victory in Punjab in 2022, Cheema said the focus of the Budget is on education, health, employment and agriculture.
He said the government will soon come out with a new agriculture policy for which a committee of experts has been formed.He said the government took a historic decision of providing 300 units of power free. "Almost 90 per cent of households are getting zero bills."
"The AAP government aims to boost the income of farmers by promoting agricultural and allied activities, create a conducive environment for industrial promotion, infrastructural development, and strengthening the state finances."
Cheema rued the "indifferent treatment" meted out to Punjab by the central government by withholding funds of Rs 9,035 crore.
"Punjab's GSDP has increased by 9.24 per cent this year to Rs 638,023 crore and is expected to increase to Rs 698,635 crore in the next fiscal," he said.
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