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No new tax, focus on farm, health as Khattar proposes V-shaped recovery

The Budget outlay comprises 25 per cent (Rs 38,718 crore) as capital expenditure and remaining Rs 1,16,927 crore as revenue expenditure.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
March 13, 2021 4:43:21 am
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (Express Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

Expressing gratitude to “farmers whose toil and hard work has made Haryana the food bowl of the country,” Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Friday presented a Rs 1.55 lakh crore budget for the 2021-22 fiscal with no new taxes while identifying agriculture, health and infrastructure as priority sectors. While highlighting how the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the state’s economy, Khattar proposed a V-shaped recovery. The proposed Budget estimate is an increase of 13 per cent over last fiscal’s Rs 1,37,738 crore.

The Budget outlay comprises 25 per cent (Rs 38,718 crore) as capital expenditure and remaining Rs 1,16,927 crore as revenue expenditure. As per 2021-22 budget estimates, the revenue deficit is estimated to be at Rs 29,193 crore (about 3.29 per cent of GSDP) as compared to Rs 20,856 crore in the current fiscal.

Presenting a paperless budget in the House, Khattar said that the Covid-19 pandemic presented “unprecedented challenges and taught us several lessons”.

“It is important for the Budget to prioritise specific sectors that are key to leverage a rebound in the economy, particularly in times of crisis. We have identified health, agriculture and infrastructure as key priority areas that we need to focus (on for) recovery and resurgence,” Khattar said.

While focusing on health is of paramount importance in these times of unprecedented public health crisis, “Agriculture which forms the foundation of our economy and which is the sheet anchor of our self-reliance is critical,” Khattar said.

An outlay of Rs 6,110 crore has been proposed for 2021-22, of which Rs 2,998 crore is earmarked for agriculture and farmers’ welfare, Rs 489 crore for horticulture, Rs 1,225 crore for animal husbandry and dairying, Rs 125 crore for fisheries and Rs 1,274 crore for cooperation. The outlay indicates an increase of 20.9 per cent against 2020-21’s Rs 5,052 crore.

The Chief Minister also launched the Mukhyamantri Antyodya Parivar Utthan Abhiyan for the poorest one lakh families in Haryana. This umbrella scheme, which will draw verified data from the Parivar Pehchan Patra (family ID card), comprises all the government’s welfare programmes, will give each family a tailored package of measures to ensure their economic upliftment so as to reach a minimum economic threshold of Rs 1.80 lakh per annum.

Congress leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Randeep Singh Surjewala described the budget as “disappointing”. Talking to reporters, Hooda said people are still struggling from the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The CM’s two-and-a-half hour long Budget speech did not provide any relief or help to any section including farmers, labourers, workers, businessmen and home markers,” he said.

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