Millennium Post

Punjab govt presents Rs 1.54 lakh cr Budget

Chandigarh: The Punjab government on Friday presented a Rs 1.54 lakh crore budget for financial year 2020-21 in the state assembly.

Presenting the budget, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal announced debt waiver to landless farm labourers and added that a sum of Rs 520 crore has been set aside for the same.

The budget also earmarked Rs 13,092 crore for the education sector and Rs 4,675 crore for the health sector.

He further announced six per cent dearness allowance to the state government employees from March this year and said the government will implement the 6th Pay Commission recommendations in 2020-21.

Badal further said 'mandi fee' -- the fee levied on the sale and purchase of agriculture produce -- on fruits and vegetables will be reduced from four per cent to one per cent.

The minister also announced to waive Change of Land Use (CLU) charges for two years. In the budget, Badal proposed revenue receipts of Rs 88,004 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs 95,716 crore for fiscal year 2020-21.

He further said the revenue deficit for financial year 2020-21 will be Rs 7,712 crore and the fiscal deficit will be Rs 18,828 crore respectively.

"Inspired of the daunting challenges before us, we have been able to maintain the fiscal deficit at 2.61 per cent in 2017-18 and 3.08 per cent in 2018-19 as against the budget estimates of 4.96 per cent and 3.81 per cent for respective years," Badal said.

He also projected outstanding debt of Rs 2,48,236 crore for 2020-21 as against 2019-20 revised estimates of Rs 2,28,906 crore.

Badal said that the state government proposes to set up two agriculture colleges at Gurdaspur and Balachaur.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Budget presentation in the state Assembly by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal was briefly delayed on Friday as he could not reach in time following a protest by SAD legislators outside his residence here.

As a result, Speaker Rana K P Singh adjourned the House for 20 minutes.

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