Monday, June 17, 2024

Tripura government presented ₹27,804 crore with focus on education, infra

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Agartala: The Tripura government on Friday placed a tax-free budget of Rs. 27,804.67 crores for 2024-25 financial year with a deficit of Rs. 410.69 crores and laying emphasis on education, skill development and infrastructural development.

Tripura finance minister Pranajit Singha Roy (Twitter/@MinSudhangshu)

“ The total budget allocation for the coming financial year is Rs. 27, 894.67 crores.It has deficit of Rs. 410.69 crores. The capital expenditure is Rs. 6633.80 crores with a hike of 24.26 percent over the revised estimate of 2023-24. The state’s own tax revenue is Rs. 3748 crores while the non-tax revenue is Rs. 475 crores”, Finance Minister Pranajit Singha Roy told the mediapersons after tabling the budget at the Assembly.

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Of the total budget, allocation of 27.94 percent was done for salaries and wages, 21.82 percent for capital expenditure apart from repayments of loan, 11.55 percent for providing pension and other retirement benefits, while 31.31 percent was for other developmental activities.

Speaking about the three sectors of development for the next year, Singha Roy said, “ We recognize three thrust areas- education, skill development and infrastructural development for our people’s full potential to propel the state towards direction of prosperity and sustained growth. The budget has also allocated for every section of the society including women, students, youths, transgenders, scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, other backward classes, minorities, employees, pensioners etc”.

He added that the state recorded 8.89 percent Gross State Domestic Product ( GDP) growth during 2022-23 , higher compared to the GDP growth at national level which was 7.20 percent.He estimated the GDP growth of the state to rise by 8.47 percent this year.

The budget allocated over Rs. 1721.94 crores with a hike of 19.88 percent in the last budget, for agriculture and allied sectors, Rs. 23.71 crores to construct eight new agri-development research centers, Rs. 9.17 crores for a centre of excellence on citrus under the Indo-Durch project at Taidu and Rs.100 crores for another centre of excellence on flowers under the Indo-Israel action at Lembucherra in West District.

He further added that the state is under debt of Rs.21,687.07 crores which was Rs. 12,902.73 crores in 2017-18, the last year of the erstwhile Left Front government’s rule.

When asked about the budget deficit, the Finance Minister said that his government would tackle the deficit from its tax collection system.

Highlighting the state government’s developmental initiatives, he said that the government procured 1.82 lakh metric tonnes of paddy from farmers since 2018-19, created different employment scopes under Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission , declared 84,000 women as “ Lakhpati didi” as of now.

In the education sector, the state introduced new regulations and curriculum as per the National Education Policy 2020, set up two private universities – Techno India University and Aryavart International University that became functional from 2023-24. The state has planned to facilitate in constructing a new private Mata Tripurasundari Open University at Udaipur in Gomati district and construct new buildings for 21 secondary schools under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund ( RIDF). In order to promote sports activities, the state opened synthetic turf football ground, athletic track, synthetic turf hockey grounds, swimming pools and open gymnasiums at different places of the state.

In health sector, the state decided to build a 200-bedded multicare health unit at Agartala Government Medical College and Govind Ballabh Pant ( GBP) hospital under Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region with an estimated cost of Rs. 192 crores, an integrated rehabilitation centre for the drug addicts at Sepahijala district under Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region spending an amount of Rs. 89.90 crores.

In tribal welfare sector, the state decided to electrify all villages especially inhabited by particularly vulnerable tribal groups under the Pradhan Mantri Janajati Adivasi Nyay Maja Abhiyan in 2024-25 with an estimated cost of Rs. 69.12 crores. The state has targeted to make 1.14 lakh women empowered through Self-Help Groups ( SHGs) by increasing their annual income above Rs. 1 lakh by 2025-26.

In case of international trade, he said that the trade volume with neighbouring country Bangladesh hiked from Rs. 390.68 crores in 2017-18 to Rs. 758.09 crores in 2022-23.

In the last year, the value of exports from the state to Bangladesh rose to Rs. 121.37 crores.

“ The Agartala-Akhaura international railway connectivity that was officially launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last year, is expected to start operation in few months”, said the minister.

He said that construction of working women hostels, 85 pink toilets for women in public places, smoke houses for rubber processing in tribal dominated areas are some of the infrastructural development activities would be taken by the state government.

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