CHANDIGARH, Feb 23 (PTI): Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday proposed no fresh tax, decided to hike the social security pension to Rs 2,750 per month and announced financial support for women entrepreneurs as he presented the state budget for 2023-24.
Khattar, who also holds the finance portfolio, announced a Rs 1,83,950 crore budget for the year 2023-24, an increase of 11.6 per cent over the revised estimate of Rs 1,64,808 crore.
The state government has also proposed to extend the benefit of Chirayu-Ayushman Bharat scheme to all families whose annual income, as per the data verified by Parivar Pehchan Patra (family ID), is above Rs 1.80 lakh and up to Rs 3 lakh.
These families will be asked to make a nominal contribution of Rs 1,500 per family per annum covering 50 per cent of the subscription amount for receiving medical treatment cover of Rs 5 lakh in any empanelled hospital, Khattar said.
“I am also happy to state that I do not propose any new tax in the budget for FY 2023-24. I hope to mobilise additional resources through better administration of sources of revenue and improved financial management of state public sector enterprises,” he said.
In the budget, Khattar also proposed to establish a venture capital fund in association with banks and financial institutions. The fund will provide financial support through loans and equity to startup entrepreneurs who are women or come from families with an annual income of up to Rs 1.80 lakh or belong to the Scheduled Castes or Backward Classes.
“The venture capital fund will assist the youth in becoming entrepreneurs where the project cost is upto Rs 5 crore. The fund will have a corpus of Rs 200 crore,” the chief minister said.
On the social security pension, Khattar said presently, social security pension benefits including Old Age Samman allowance, widow pension and Divyang pension are provided to over 29.71 lakh beneficiaries at the rate of Rs 2,500 per month.
He announced that the amount will be increased to Rs 2,750 per month to all the beneficiaries with effect from April 1, 2023.
A financial assistance of Rs 2,500 will be given to each girl child who takes admission in government industrial training institutes and whose annual family income is up to Rs 3 lakh.
On the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, Khattar said his government is committed to the construction of the SYL canal in order to get its due share of waters of Ravi-Beas river system.
“An outlay of Rs 101 crore is proposed to be allocated especially for this purpose in 2023-24. If additional demand arises, the government will provide the same with the approval of the State Assembly,” he said in the House.
About paddy crop residue burning cases, Khattar said there was a 48 per cent drop in paddy stubble incidents in Haryana and it was appreciated at the national level.
“The government will notify a government determined rate of Rs 1,000 per tonne as an incentive to purchase of ‘parali’ (stubble) from farmers and Rs 1,500 per tonne for meeting all expenses related to stubble management for paddy straw procured in the prescribed service areas by designated agencies,” he said.
According to him, the thermal power plants in the state will also use paddy straw biomass in the form of pellets along with coal for generation of electricity. The 2G ethanol plant established by Indian Oil Corporation at Panipat has been commissioned and will use paddy straw for ethanol generation, he added.
Further, the chief minister said the government will also be undertaking recruitment for at least 65,000 regular posts in 2023-24 including through the Common Eligibility Tests for Group C and Group D posts.
The government will also prepare a comprehensive youth policy that will include a calendar of youth activities, strengthening of youth clubs, programmes relating to ethics and character building, personality development, language and communication training.
For the horticulture sector, Khattar said the government aims to double the cropped area and triple horticulture production by 2030 through formation of crop cluster development programmes, set up supply chain for fresh fruits and vegetables, establishment of pack houses and formation of farmer producer organisations.
Khattar also said that to adopt natural farming in the state, a target of 20,000 acres has been proposed in the state budget.