March 4, 2021 4:24:21 am
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the finance portfolio, on Wednesday presented the state’s biggest budget till date. Patel announced 22 lakh jobs, including two lakh in the government, “light metros” for four cities, sops for GIFT City and the second phase of two schemes launched by the then chief minister Narendra Modi.
The Rs 2,27,029-crore budget — Rs 9,742 crore more than the budget for 2020-21 — would provide “momentum” to development that “kept pace even during tough times of Covid-19 pandemic,” Patel said. “When the economies all over the world were shattered by the pandemic, we did not allow it to impede major schemes,” Patel said.
Among the new initiatives announced are a housing scheme for industrial labourers and a scheme to strengthen pre-primary education in Gujarat. “In order to ensure that labourers get their dwellings near the factories where they work, our government is going to launch Mukhyamantri Audyogik Shramyogi Ane Industrial Housing Aawas (MASIHA) scheme. Under this scheme, housing for labourers will be constructed at concessional rate on PPP basis,” Patel said.
A sum of Rs 2,150 crore to build 1,00,000 houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) and 55,000 under PMAY (Urban) was earmarked. Budget proposals also included an allocation of Rs 15 crore for growing two lakh saplings of “Kamalam” or Dragon fruit, recently renamed by the state government. The money allocated is for nurseries and plantations to grow and maintain “Kamalam” fruit within a radius of 50 km of Kevadia where the Statue of Unity is located.
The budget launched new phases of 13-year-old schemes for tribals and fishermen launched by then Chief Minister Modi. The government also said it will provide free-of-cost cycles to 1.82 lakh girl students from Scheduled Castes and developing castes.
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