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Rebate in Electricity Bills, 5 New Food Parks, Loan Waiver: Chhattisgarh CM Baghel Focuses on Farmers in Maiden Budget

Rs 5,000 crore has been allocated for waiver of agricultural loans, he said.

In his first Budget on Friday, February 8, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel focused primarily on the agriculture sector. Besides the farm loan waiver, he also provided a rebate in electricity bills.

Baghel underlined that the motto of his Rs 90,910 crore budget was “Bahujan Hitay, Bahujan Sukhay” (for the happiness and benefit of the largest number of people).

The chief minister informed that the state’s “gross financial loss” is estimated to be Rs 10,881 crore, which is 2.99 per cent of the state’s gross domestic product and within the prescribed limit.

Loan waivers

For the agriculture and allied sector, the financial plan for 2019-20 has an allocation of Rs 21,597 crore, which is 1.5 times higher than the previous year. After assuming power, Baghel had announced to waive off the loan of farmers. To meet this promise, Rs 5,000 crore has been allocated for waiver of agricultural loans, the chief minister said, adding that the move will benefit 20 lakh farmers in Chhatisgarh. The short-term agricultural loans of Rs 4,000 crore distributed by public sector banks along with those distributed by rural and co-operative banks will also be waived, he added. In January, a supplementary budget presented for the last fiscal had provided for waiver of loans of Rs 6,000 crore.

Employment in Rural areas

Baghel announced that Rs 50 crore had been allocated for the establishment of five food parks. The move, he underlined, will generate employment, particularly in rural areas.

Power

Baghel allocated Rs 400 crore for extending a concession on power bills to all the consumers in the domestic sector for up to 400 units. The power bills would be cut to half with effect from March 1, 2019, he announced.

Rice per Ration Card

Under the Mukhya Mantri Khadyanna Suraksha Yojna, a provision of Rs 4,000 crore has been made for distribution of 35 kg of rice per ration card to the low-income families, Baghel said.

Health Sector

Baghel said that his government would focus on providing “Universal Health Care to All”. An additional provision of Rs 15 crore has been made for hygiene in civil hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres. For the construction of five community health centres, ten primary health centres and 25 sub-health centres Rs 6.10 crore has been allocated. In Gariaband, a 100-bed district hospital will come up, Baghel said.

Also read: Pro-farmer Decisions Will Not Come in Way of Development Projects: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel

(With PTI inputs)

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