While presenting the annual budget for Gujarat on Tuesday, State Finance Minister Saurabh Patel has emphasised on sectors that can increase agricultural production, expand access to education and health services, generate higher employment, core road network, affordable housing, particularly to the deprived sections, greater investment in nutrition programs and strengthening infrastructure in irrigation, sanitation, water supply, rural and urban areas.
The State Government in total has proposed a budget of Rs 85,556 crore for the year 2016-17 in which it has given priority to social services like health and education. The projected annual development plan (ADP) is higher by Rs 66,262.67 crore from preceding year.
Out of such annual development plan, the government has allotted about 47 per cent of the ADP-Rs 40,285.52 crore for the expansion of social services such as primary health services, nutrition, welfare of schedule caste, schedule tribes, socially and educationally backward, education, drinking water, housing, cleanliness and woman and child development. As compared to last year, the Gujarat government has spend around 1,801.37 crore higher on social services development.
While reading his budget speech, Finance Minster Saurabh Patel said: “The state government is committed for creating conducive climate so that people can get desired share of growth. Social sector gets the highest priority with an outlay of Rs 40, 286 crore keeping in mind the overall objective of improving of human development index of the state.”
Patel further added:”Government is committed to make Gujarat an energy hub, and thereby has provided an outlay of Rs 6,800 crore to the energy and petrochemical department focusing more on non-conventional sources of energy and people centric schemes like Kisan Hit Urja Shakti Yojana (KHUSY) and equity support to GUVNL, solar agri pumps etc.”
The Finance minister has also proposed an expenditure of Rs 5,940 crore for the agriculture and allied services that are 6.94 per cent of total budget. Furthermore, the state has allotted Rs 14,294.20 crore for the irrigation, Sardar Sarovar project and flood control.
The state government has also decided to declare this year as the Youth Development Year and proposed to create 66,000 government jobs in the state within the next one year. Patel in his proposed budget allotted Rs 1,000 crore under ‘Yuva Swavlamban’ scheme of the Chief Minister.