Gujarat Budget 2023: ₹2 lakh cr for betterment of poor people; no new taxes proposed
The Gujarat government will spend ₹2 lakh crore in the next five years for the betterment of poor people, Finance Minister Kanu Desai said on Thursday (February 24) as he presented the state Budget for fiscal 2023-24 in the Assembly.
This is the first Budget of the state after the BJP retained power with a thumping majority in the December 2022 Assembly polls and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel returned for a fresh term in office.
The Budget outlay is ₹3.01 lakh crore, an increase of 23.38% from the last year. There were no new taxes imposed on people.
Among the highlights of the Budget was the announcement of the Mukhyamantri Shramik Basera Yojana, Shramik Annapurna Yojana to be expanded to new 150 places, issuing family identity cards, ₹4 lakh crore for human resources, Shri Anna to be accommodated at fair price shops, and 150 new centres to provide meals to labourers at ₹5.
The Budget 2023-24 proposes a slew of schemes and projects, some of which were part of the promises made by the BJP in its manifesto before the 2022 elections, like doubling the insurance coverage under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya-MA (PMJAY-MA) scheme to ₹10 lakh from ₹5 lakh and providing two gas cylinders free per year to the beneficiaries of Ujjwala scheme.
Minister Desai said that taking into consideration the revenue account with capital account and net public account, the estimates for the financial year 2023-24 show a surplus of ₹916.87 crore.
“In this amrit kaal, I present the budget which will determine the direction of the development of the state for the next 25 years. For the year 2023-24, I propose a budgetary outlay of ₹301,021 crore,” he said.
This shows a significant increase in the budgetary provisions, which is 23.38 per cent higher than the previous year, he said.
The government aims to increase the state’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) beyond Rs 42 lakh crore, he said. No new taxes are being proposed in the budget, he said.
“During the pandemic, we had given relief to various sections of the society to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore by reducing various taxes,” he said.
The state government will spend around ₹5 lakh crore on the development of infrastructure facilities in the next five years, he said.
Five state highways will be developed as high speed corridors at Rs 1,500 crore investment, Desai said.
The government also plans to set up sports complexes in each district and taluka of the state, he said, adding that Rs 1,066 crore will be spent on providing houses to around one lakh people under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) during the next year.
Highlights of Gujarat Budget 2023-24
₹4,200 crore World Bank loan to be used for new schemes in healthcare
20,000 new computer labs to be set across schools in Gujarat
50,000 new classrooms to come across schools in Gujarat
Renewable energy contribution to be raised to 42 per cent in state’s total power generation
New airport to come up at Dwarka, Gir Somnath district (popular for religious tourism)
Keshod airport, Junagadh district, to be revamped
₹58 crore for Divyang Pension Yojna
Five new nursing colleges to be opened
₹55 crore to expand ambulance services
₹15,182 crore for healthcare sector
₹64 crore allotted to 400 new Gyan Setu schools across Gujarat
₹905 crore for the Surat Metro rail project
₹1,570 crore provision for daytime agricultural power supply to farmers under Kisan Suryoday Yojana
₹152 crore provision for Solar Powered agriculture pumps under PM KUSUM Yojana
(With agency inputs)