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Bengal govt hikes allocation for agriculture sector by 120 percent

Bengal govt hikes allocation for agriculture sector by 120 percent

Kolkata: In a significant boost to the agriculture sector, the Bengal government has increased the budgetary allocation for the same by 120 percent.

During his Budget speech, state Finance minister Amit Mitra said in the Assembly on Monday that the total allotment for the agriculture sector has been increased from the Rs 2,766 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 6,086 crore in 2019-20.

The Bengal government has not only achieved notable economic growth through considerable reduction in the fiscal and revenue deficit in the state, but also laid emphasis on the empowerment of common people by increasing financial allotment for the social infrastructure.

It may be mentioned here that after coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has laid great stress on the economic development of farmers across the state. Her government has also claimed that the average income of farmers has gone up three times through various social schemes initiated by her.

Banerjee's brain child 'Krishak Bandhu' scheme has seen a fresh investment of Rs 3,000 crore in the state Budget. During the launch of the scheme, the state Finance department had allocated Rs 4,000 in the last financial year.

While speaking to media outside the Assembly, Finance minister Mitra said: "The total budgetary allocation in the state has been increased by 10.70 percent. During the financial year 2018-19, the total allotment remained at Rs 2,14,959 crore while in 2019-20, the figure has gone up to Rs 2,37,964 crore. The allotment has also been increased in the state development scheme or planned expenditure from Rs 80,166 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 89,300 crore in 2019-20."

"When the Mamata Banerjee government came to power, the fiscal deficit in the state was at 4.24 percent. The figure has gone down to 2.83 percent in 2019-20. The revenue deficit has also dropped to 0.96 percent from 3.75 percent in 2010-11," Mitra pointed out.

Allocation has also been increased for physical infrastructure like construction of roads and bridges. According to Mitra, the fund for strengthening physical infrastructure has gone up to Rs 8,806 crore in 2019-20, from Rs 7,760 crore in 2018-19, a hike of 13.48 percent.

The school education sector has witnessed an increase in the budgetary allocation from Rs 24,720 crore to Rs 27,541 crore while in the health sector, the figure has gone up to Rs 9,556 crore from Rs 8,770 crore.

The state government has collected Rs 1,100 crore as revenue through various tax settlement schemes, under which a huge amount of tax waiver has been offered to the people, Mitra maintained.

Bengal has also performed well in GST through rigorous campaigns by government officials at villages, blocks and also in the district levels. Training was provided among businessmen on how to fill up various forms, the Finance minister said.

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