The Gujarat government announced several schemes for farmers to help boost harvest and tide over bad weather conditions in the Rs 2,17,287-crore Budget tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the Finance portfolio, in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Among the key announcements were one urban health centre for every 10,000 people, relief in electricity duty for around 30 lakh consumers, developing 500 schools in the state as Schools of Excellence, and a scheme for NRIs to give back to the community. These are seen as targeted for the local body elections to be held at end of this year.
The Madar-e-Watan scheme is a new scheme under which the government proposes to contribute an equal share of the sum spent by an NRI for the development of facilities, including schools, classrooms, smart-classes, anganwadis, cemeteries, dispensaries, roads, water tanks, ponds and toilets, in his/her hometown in Gujarat.
The Budget has proposed allocation of Rs 200 crore to implement this scheme.
In keeping with the long-standing demand of farmers for power supply to irrigate fields in the daytime, the government announced the Dinkar Yojana. The electricity duty relief will cover shopkeepers, cold storages, religious places and dharamshalas, Patel announced.
Elections to six municipal corporations, 30 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 27 municipalities are due later this year.
In another scheme for farmers — Mukhya Mantri Pak Sangrah Yojana — the government has allocated Rs 300 crore. The scheme aims to prevent crop loss due to factors such as unseasonal rain, cyclone, excessive rain, insect menace, etc. Under this, farmers will be provided subvention of Rs 30,000 per unit for construction of on farm storage structure in the farm.
Construction for such a structure will be exempted from Non-Agriculture (NA) permission of the Revenue Department.
In education sector, the government announced ‘Schools of Excellence’ project with allocation of Rs 250 crore. Under this, 500 schools will be developed as Schools of Excellence.
The Deputy Chief Minister also announced that 7,000 new classrooms of primary schools will be built in the year. An allocation of Rs 650 crore was earmarked for this.
No new taxes were proposed in the Budget, which has surplus estimates of Rs 275 crore.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines