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MP allocates ₹21,444 crore for health, a 34% increase

Madhya Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Jagdish Devda on Wednesday presented the first full Budget of the new BJP government led by Chief Minister Mohan Yadav for the financial year 2024-25 with a total outlay of ₹3,65,067 crore.

Presenting the Budget on the third day of the State Assembly’s ongoing Monsoon Session, Devda said that the size of the Budget has been increased by 16% in comparison to that of the FY23-24. He also said that the government aims to double the annual Budget in five years, adding that the per capita income of the State has increased to ₹1.42 lakh in 2022-23 from ₹13,465 in 2003-2004.

The Budget presentation was, however, marred by the Congress’s protest over the alleged scam in the opening and functioning of nursing colleges in the State. Congress MLAs led by Leader of Opposition Umang Singhar have been demanding the resignation of Cabinet Minister Vishwas Sarang, who held the Medical Education portfolio in the previous government, and a joint assembly committee probe into the matter. The Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the House before Devda could finish his Budget speech.

“The budget for the year 2024-25 aims to double its size in the next five years, with increased capital investment in roads, irrigation, electricity, quality health facilities, attracting investments for employment generation, and promoting good governance,” Devda said.

The allocations for the Women and Child Development saw an 81% rise from the last fiscal taking it to ₹26,560 crore. Out of this, ₹18,984 have been given to the Ladli Behna Scheme.

The flagship scheme of the government was started by Yadav’s predecessor Shivraj Singh Chouhan last year. Women from poor households are given an allowance of ₹1,250 per month under the scheme.

The Health Sector received an allocation of ₹21,444 crore with Devda mentioning that it was 34% more than the allocation in the last year’s budget.

“In the year 2003, only 5 government medical colleges were operating in the state. Due to the efforts of our government, currently 14 government medical colleges are operating. In the year 2024-25, three more government medical colleges will be operated in Mandsaur, Neemuch and Seoni. After this, our government is also trying to open eight more government medical colleges in the next two years,” he said.

Devda also said that no new tax has been introduced in this year’s Budget.

The Finance Minister also said that the capital expenditure is expected to increase by 15% compared to the last year, while the fiscal deficit of the FY24-25 is estimated to be at 4.11% of the Gross State Domestic Product.

₹53,460 crore have been allocated for infrastructural development in the State and ₹44,588 crore have been given for rural and urban development.

Devda also said that ₹40,804 crore have been allocated for the Scheduled Tribe sub-scheme with an aim to bring them to mainstream society, increasing the amount by ₹3,856 crore from the last budget.

Similarly, ₹27,900 crore were given to the Scheduled Caste sub-scheme.

The agriculture sector received an allocation of ₹66,605 crore, up from FY23-24’s ₹53,964 crore, including ₹6,290 crore for the Atal Krishi Jyoti Scheme, aimed at providing affordable electricity to farmers. ₹4,900 crore were also allotted for the Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme.

The education sector also saw a significant rise in its allocation taking it to ₹52,682 crore this time from ₹38,375 crore in FY23-24. The allocation includes ₹2,737 crore to construct new buildings for 150 CM Rise Schools.

₹4,191 were also allocated to create employment opportunities in the State with Devda saying that a new policy will be brought to reduce the application fee for government jobs. The Hindu

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