Chhattisgarh's subsidy burden up by 41%, CM presents Rs 95,650 cr budget

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday presented a Rs 95,650-crore budget, without any new tax proposals, for fiscal 2020-21 in the Legislative Assembly. Presenting the state budget, the chief minister pointed out that the state's subsidy burden had registered a whopping 41 per cent rise in the financial year 2019-20.

“According to the revised estimate of 2019-20, the subsidy burden of the state is Rs 10,836 crore, which is about 11 per cent of the total expenditure,” Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said envisaging revenue growth of over 10 per cent in the financial year 2020-21. The subsidy burden was estimated at Rs 7,660 crore in 2019-20, Baghel said, underlining that it had taken a whopping rise.

Besides loan waivers, the state government had doled out a number of subsidy schemes last year. The bonus to farmers, reducing the electricity bill to half were a few. The burden is likely to increase further in the FY21 as Baghel announced Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana to give a bonus to the farmers. The scheme would cost the exchequer Rs 5,100 crore.

Chhattisgarh's debt had been pegged at about Rs 68,000 crore. “We would increase state’s revenue,” Baghel said while elaborating on the state’s approach to deal with the situation without cutting the development expenditure.

State’s total receipts (excluding borrowings) for 2020-21 are estimated to be Rs 83831 crore, an increase of about 10.5 per cent as compared to the revised estimate of Rs 75,696 crore in 2019-20. The total expenditure for 2020-21 is estimated to be Rs 95,650 crore, a 1.5 per cent decrease over the revised estimate of Rs 97,068 crore in 2019-20.

Revenue surplus for the next financial year is targeted at Rs 2,431 crore while the fiscal deficit is targeted at Rs 11,518 crore (3.18 percent of GSDP). Meanwhile, school education (16.2 percent), rural development (9.4 percent), public works (6.7 percent) and health (5.8 percent) saw an increase in allocations.

The state government also announced Rs 2,300 crore “Krishak Jeevan Jyoti Yojana” to provide free power to agri-pumps up to five Horse Power capacity. A provision of setting 1176 biogas plants under the Gobar Dhan Yojana was also announced in the budget. It would cost Rs 450 crore.

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