Bihar presented a budget of ₹2.6 lakh crore, education in focus

The Bihar government on Tuesday presented a 2.61 lakh crore budget for 2023-24, an increase of nearly 10% from the previous year, claiming that “better fiscal management” has helped cap the state’s fiscal deficit within permissible limits.

Bihar Finance Minister Vijay Choudhary displays a suitcase containing papers of the state budget 2022-23.  (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
Bihar Finance Minister Vijay Choudhary displays a suitcase containing papers of the state budget 2022-23. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

Presenting the budget before the Legislative Assembly, Finance Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary again raised the demand for special status for Bihar, while flagging concerns such as a decline in grants-in-aid received from the Center compared to the previous year, although Bihar has a higher share in central taxes. share has decreased. growth was observed.

The minister said the focus has been on youth and employment, education, health and infrastructure.

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“We have increased the budget outlay for 2023-24 by over 10% 2.37 lakhs last year. Our sound fiscal management has helped contain the fiscal deficit within the permissible limits of the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility Budget Management) Act. 2,61,885.40 crore budget. “We have projected a revenue surplus budget.”

This was the first financial document of the seven-party grand alliance government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after the Janata Dal (United) broke ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and joined hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (Rashtriya Janata Dal) in August last year. RJD), Congress and Left parties.

Minister announced the highest allocation A provision of Rs 40,450 crore has been made for education. allocation of A provision of 16,966 crore has been made for health while the social welfare sector got 12,439 crores.

Chowdhary said, “We are working to create 10 lakh jobs for the youth and the work is already in motion with demand for 63,900 posts sent to BPSC (Bihar Public Service Commission) and Bihar Staff Selection Board. ” “We are working to fill 48,762 posts of teachers and there will be huge vacancies in police and other sectors.”

He informed that the state’s fiscal deficit has been pegged at 2.98% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) against the permissible limit of 3% under the FRBM Act.

Chief Minister Kumar said: “This is a progressive budget. It will accelerate higher economic growth, better financial management and development of all sections of the society.

The first budget of the Grand Alliance government is a status quo and a centrally dependent budget. has only increased 2 crore for education is like peanuts,” said BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.

Choudhary also raised the demand for special category status, saying Bihar needs to overcome its backwardness despite registering an economic growth of 10.98% in the current fiscal year 2022-23.

“We need special status for faster economic progress as Bihar is plagued by some geographical challenges and natural calamities like floods,” he said.

The minister said the grant-in-aid expected from the central government for the year from March was estimated 53,377.92 crore, which “was” 4,623.37 crore less” than what was received in the previous financial year. However, the budget also recorded a marginal increase in the state’s share of central taxes, which, however, 1,02,737.26 crore for 2023-24 was Rs. 376.12 crore more than the previous year.

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“Central devolution is the state’s own right. But Bihar is getting less in grants,” said the finance minister.

While no new schemes were announced in the budget, Choudhary said the government was focusing on “youth development, women empowerment and infrastructure development”.

State government has made provision 2,374 crore for Mukhyamantri Gram Sampark Yojana in 23-24, While 800 crores to provide financial assistance for self-employment 100 crore for Chief Minister Kanya Vivah Yojana and other schemes. Financial assistance for self-empowerment of divorced Muslim women has been increased from from 10,000 25,000, the minister said.

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