Updated: March 17, 2022 3:42:46 pm
Tripura Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Devvarma, who is also in charge of the Finance portfolio, Wednesday presented a Rs 26,892.67-crore tax-free Budget proposal for the 2022-23 financial year. The Budget is 18.34 per cent higher than last year’s Budget estimates and an increase of over Rs 4,000 crore.
The Budget proposal, the last by the incumbent BJP-led state government in Tripura before the state goes to polls, included a series of new projects and schemes, many of which are among the poll promises made by the BJP prior to the 2018 Assembly election, including providing social security pension of Rs 2,000, converting the Pushpavant Palace — the erstwhile Raj Bhawan — into a digital museum, and others.
Laying the Budget proposal, Devvarma said, “The Covid pandemic created adverse effects on the economy. During the constraints, the state government took diverse and timely steps and succeeded to slow down the pandemic. We also had approximately 12.16 per cent growth of the gross state domestic product…We expect a 13.28 per cent GSDP growth in the next financial year.”
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Devvarma claimed that the erstwhile Left regime left Tripura under huge debts and the growth in the budgetary allocation was possible through good fiscal management.
The Budget estimates tabled Wednesday doubled the capital expenditure to Rs 5,285 crore and displayed a deficit of Rs 569.52 crore.
While the Budget estimates didn’t include details of the open market borrowing and other loans but Devvarma said his government has maintained fiscal management and has adhered to the guidelines of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003.
Tripura’s Budget has laid a heavy thrust on education, health, social security, industrial promotion among other things this year.
A separate gender Budget was also published this year with a provision of Rs 2,838.54 crore out of the total Rs 8,084.02 crore development outlay, marking a 35 per cent provision for gender Budget.
Highlighting the key sectors in his Budget estimates, the Deputy Chief Minister said it includes a Rs 500-crore allocation for the Mission Vidyajyoti Schools, Rs 50 crore for a national law university, Rs. 6.5 crore for a new scheme called ‘Khelo Tripura, Sustho Tripura’, Rs 5,010 crore for the education sector, which is 20.66 per cent higher than the previous year’s budgetary provisions.
The Budget also proposed Rs 1,777 crore for the health sector, marking a 23 per cent growth from the last Budget’s health sector allocation. This includes proposals for setting up a psychiatric hospital and a psychiatric consultation centre, a drug rehabilitation centre at Khumulwng, headquarters of the Tripura ADC among other things.
The Budget estimates also include a Rs 645-crore allocation for raising the social security pensions to Rs 2,000 for the 3.81 lakh social security pension beneficiaries, Rs 1,300 crore for the ST development, including connectivity, Rs 40 crore for turning Pushpavant Palace into a digital museum. The palace is named after Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya, one of the last reigning kings of Tripura.
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