Shimla: Presenting the annual plan outlay for the year 2008-09, the Himachal Pradesh government today announced to fill up 26,000 functional posts and declared that social services like education, health, water supply, sanitation urban development and social welfare would be the priority sectors. The Bharatiya Janata Party fixed Rs 2,400 crore, including special plan assistance of Rs 450 crore as the annual plan outlay for the year 2008-09. Total revenue receipts for the year are estimated at Rs 9,398 crore and the total revenue expenditure at Rs. 9,328 crore, thus leaving a surplus of Rs 70 crore on the revenue account. The government also announced that it would be set up three new medical colleges under public-private partnership in Mandi, Una and Hamirpur districts, besides hoping that the central government would assict the state in setting up an IIT in Mandi district.
Social sector and services
• Provision of Rs 197 crore for capital works of schools and colleges, which will be 142% more than the current year provision of Rs 81 crore.
• Three new medical colleges to be set up under-public private partnership in Mandi, Una and Hamirpur districts.
• One IIT is to be set up in Mandi district with Central support.
• IPH department to install 2,000 hand pumps in the drought prone areas.
• Pre-matric scholarships for poor students belonging to Other Backward Classes. About 10,000 OBC students to be benefited at a total estimated cost of Rs. 90 lakh per year. At an average, every student shall get a benefit of about Rs.900 per year.
• 18,000 post of teachers in the education department to be filled up to bring in qualitative improvement in the education sector.
• 250 posts of doctors and 1000 posts of nurses and paramedical staff shall be filled up to take care of the shortages in the health personnel.
• 85 Ayurvedic medical officers are to be appointed and new Ayurvedic clinics are being opened in the existing health institutions.
• Capital outlay for health institutions increased massively by 209% from Rs 33.67 crore in current year to Rs. 104 crore for the next year, with a view to strengthen the infrastructure in the healthcare sector in the state.
Agriculture and farmers
A plan outlay of Rs. 664.81 crore has been kept for agriculture, rural development and irrigation sectors which is 28 % of the total plan size. Several steps are proposed in the budget for rapid development of this sector and welfare of the farmers.
• Procurement price of milk has been raised by Rs. 2 per litre. One lakh milk producers in the State to be benefited through rejuvenation of MILKFED. This would directly benefit the farmers of the State by way of remunerative price for their milk.
• For the benefit of farmers, restriction imposed by the previous Government to export Khair only with bark is done away with. This shall benefit the farmers by cutting their transportation cost of Khair wood and increasing their incomes.
• Soil of the farmers shall be got tested and the farmers would be suitably advised by the Agriculture Department with regard to the optimum cropping pattern. During the next financial year soil testing for one lakh farmers shall be done by the Department. This would enhance their incomes substantially.
• District level agricultural plans shall be prepared.
• 300 posts of HDOs, Agriculture Development Officers, Horticulture Development Officers and Extension officers shall be filled up to strengthen the Agriculture and Horticulture Departments.
Welfare of the Weaker Sections
• Hike of 157% is proposed in this sub-plan and the outlay has been increased from Rs 231 crore during the year 2007-08 to Rs. 594 crore in the next financial year
• Rs. 10 lakh for construction of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Bhavans in every assembly constituency at a total cost of Rs 6.80 crore.
• New health insurance scheme has been announced for families below poverty line which would benefit almost 3 lakh such families by taking care of their health insurance needs.
• “Parchi fee” (Prescription Slip Fee) abolished in all health institutions. This would benefit all 13 lakh households in Himachal Pradesh, particularly the poorer sections. This translates the motto of the Government to provide “aam aadmi ko rahat.”
• All remaining eligible persons living below the poverty line are to be covered under social security pension scheme.
• Insurance benefits under “Matri Shakti Bima Yojana” have been doubled to Rs. 50,000 in case of accidental death and Rs 25,000 in case of loss of one limb. This would cover all families below poverty line, particularly the women.
• New insurance scheme introduced for weavers of the state.
Roads and Infrastructure
• Roads, bridges and transport connectivity has been given high priority with a total outlay of Rs 374.15 crore, which shall be about 16% of the total plan size.
• All the left out 460 Panchayats are to be linked with roads during the year 2008-09 by using the State resources as well as the funds to be received under the PMGSY.
• Mukhya Mantri Gram Path Yojana has been reintroduced with a provision of Rs. 10 crore. This would help in providing connectivity to the left out villages
• Outlay of Rs. 328.24 crore has been kept for developing the Power Sector, which shall be about 14% of the plan size. This shall give thrust to hydro-power development in the State.
• All the identified 12 power projects which have more than 100 MW capacity and are yet to be allotted, shall be allocated by the end of the year 2008 by following the transparent competitive bidding process. This would give impetus to the attempts of the Govt. towards faster exploitation of State’s hydro power potential.
• New directorate of Energy shall be created to increase the pace of development of hydro-power sector in the State.
Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies
• Outlay for Panchayati Raj institutions has been increased by 50% from Rs 87 crore in the current financial year to Rs 131 crore in 2008-09.
• Outlay for Urban Bodies has also been increased by 72% from Rs. 57 crore to Rs. 98 crore for the next year.
• New scheme has been introduced to create commercial assets in Urban Bodies to add to their regular income sources. Under this scheme, the State Government shall provide 50% of the total funds required by the urban bodies to construct parking places and commercial complexes.
• Honorarium of all categories of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions and Urban Bodies has been increased. This would not only benefit about 25,000 such elected representatives but would also empower and encourage them.
• 260 posts of Panchayats Secretaries are to be filled up next year from amongst the senior most Panchayat Sahayaks.
• Every Panchayat to have either a Panchayat Secretary or a Panchayat Sahayak.
• Panchayat Sahayaks are to be delegated financial powers of signing the cheques, equal to those of Panchayat Secretaries.
Employment Avenues for the Youth and Ex-Servicemen
• More than 26,000 functional posts are to be filled up, including:
-3,000 police personnel
-1,081 gram rozgar sewaks
-1,000 nurses and paramedical staff
-260 panchayat secretaries
-85 Ayurvedic medical officers
-About 1000 men strong in Eco Battalion and Disaster Management Battalion
-3% posts reserved for outstanding sportspersons.
• Subsidized loan at 7% interest rate to the ex-servicemen provided by the Ex-Servicemen Corporation shall be doubled from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000. This would enable the ex-servicemen to get better self-employment opportunities. This measure would potentially benefit about 95,000 families of the State.
Welfare of employees
• Government to release of 5% interim relief to all govt. employees. The pensioners of the state shall also get this benefit of the interim relief. The government will bear an outgo of about Rs. 300 crore on this account.
• Service conditions of Grameen Vidya Upasaks are to be rationalised.
• Rs 16 crore have been provided for meeting the housing needs of the employees working in revenue and police departments.
• 3% posts reserved for outstanding sportspersons in the State are to be filled up by all the departments.
• 50 new coaches of various sports are to be recruited by the Youth Services and Sports Department.
• Two synthetic athletics tracks are to be built at Dharamsala and Hamirpur.
first of all i would like to congratulate CM to give a tax free budget.as a draft the budget is quite good but it should be kept in miind that the implementation is the major problem in our contry. only a litle reaches to the poor people in this coutry.
C M should also seriously focus on corruption as he mentioned before election.
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