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Monday, April 12, 2021

In 1st outcome-based budget, Jharkhand fixes responsibility on depts

Finance Minister Rameshwar Oroan made the announcement during his speech after tabling the Rs 91, 277 crore budget for 2021-22, an increase from Rs 86, 370 crore in the current fiscal.

Written by Abhishek Angad | Ranchi |
March 4, 2021 4:19:27 am
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren and Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon in the Assembly on Tuesday. (PTI)

THE JHARKHAND government for the first time presented an outcome-based budget on Wednesday, in which departments have been given specific targets and responsibilities, the results of which will be measured by the end of next financial year.

Finance Minister Rameshwar Oroan made the announcement during his speech after tabling the Rs 91, 277 crore budget for 2021-22, an increase from Rs 86, 370 crore in the current fiscal. The government said that in 2021-22, the fiscal deficit is estimated to be Rs 10, 210.87 crore, which will be 2.83 per cent of the estimated state GDP.

On the new initiative of fixing responsibility, Oraon said 11 departments, including Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Cooperative, Women and Child Development and Social Security, and Health, have been made part of the outcome-based budget. These departments have submitted a detailed document on the work they are planning to do in the next fiscal.

“Every time a question is asked: what happened to all the money spent on schemes. This time, we have come with an outcome-based budget where responsibility has been fixed and at the end of the next financial year we will come to know the output through output indicators as explained by the 11 departments in their output budget document,” said Oraon. He said the remaining departments will be added next year.

For example, the Health and Family Welfare Department with an objective of increasing the number of MBBS seats mentioned its “output indicator” as operationalisation of medical college in 15 districts by upgrading district hospitals. It mentioned its outcome indicator as annual availability of 1,500 MBBS doctors per year after infrastructure completion.

Officers said this will make the departments accountable for their work.

Another important takeaway of the budget is the “Universal Pension” scheme for all old age, widow, disabled and orphaned. Chief Secretary Sukhev Singh said in the post-budget press conference: “The additional burden to the state will be Rs 365 crore, but it won’t stop there. We will increase it accordingly.” The modalities of the universalisation, however, are yet to be made public.

The budget also announced a “cremation ground for cows” in each division of Jharkhand.

In the Health Department, the government announced operationalisation of 10 ‘Trauma Centres’ in identified accident-prone areas. “Other 48 accident-prone areas will be identified and a trauma centre will be operationalised in the nearest government hospitals/health facility,” said the budget document.

Recently, the state government announced an addition of Rs 31 per man days under NREGA. The government said this will cost the government an additional amount of Rs 331 crore.

Another highlight of the budget was an additional allocation of Rs 1,200 crore for a farm loan waiver scheme in the state. After completion of one year, the government had announced Rs 2,000 crore for the scheme. The Chief Secretary said: “So Rs 3, 200 crore is the total allocation, but it won’t stop there.”

The budget also stated creation of a State Disaster Response Force in the state. The government has also taken notice of deaths in lightning strikes in the state and plans to avert those through various actions, including sending messages on time. The budget also mentioned starting of public kitchens – ‘Guruji Kitchens’ – in addition to the already existing ‘Dal-Bhat Kitchens’.

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