By Hiranmoy Roy
The Dhami 2.0 government presented its Budget on 14 June, 2022, on the floor of the Uttarakhand State Assembly. Finance Minister Premchand Aggarwal said in his opening remarks that, after formation of the state, this is for the first time that one party has a second chance to present the budget. He further emphasised that the budget is an instrument for regional development and a strong weapon of the masses for economic upliftment. The uniqueness in this budget is that it was prepared based on public opinion, masses were connected through WhatsApp and emails, and thus it is termed “Apka Budget Apka Sujhao”. The approach followed in the budget is to maintain Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act directions. Important objectives that were addressed in the budget 2022-23 are – good governance, economic development and growth, better services by the government departments, modernisation of government departments, provision of subsidy, education and skill development, health and welfare, agricultural development, development of infrastructure, simplication of rules and regulation and process, public private partmentship, sustainable tourism, services to the needy and overall progress of the state.
The expenditures that were earmarked in the budget are – Border Area Development – Rs 20 Crores, Community Health Development – Rs 15 Crores, Horticulture – Rs 17 Crores, Construction of Cow Sheds – Rs 15 Crores, Tea Development Board – Rs 18.40 Crores, Atal Utkarsh Vidyalay – Rs 12.28 Crores, CIPET – Rs 10 Crores, Women Welfare- Rs 10 Crores, Rural Health Care – Rs 6 Crores, Border Area Education – Rs 5 Crores, PM FasalYojana – Rs 5 Crores, Atal AyushmanYojana – Rs 310 Crores, MNREGA – Rs 298 Crores, PM Awas Yojana – Rs 312 Crores, Smart City Yojana – Rs 205 Crores, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Rural Skill Development – Rs 105 Crores, Atma Nirbhar Women – Rs 15 Crores, Divorced Women – Rs 15 Crores, PM Irrigation Scheme – Rs 43 Crores, SC and OBC students free books distribution – Rs 37 Crores, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Urban Mission Crores – Rs 34 Crores, National Rural Mission – Rs 30 Crores, Control of Outmigration – Rs 25 Crores, Nanda Gaura Yojana- Rs 500 Crores and Enterprises Acceleration Project – Rs 771 Crores.
A total outlay of Rs 63,774 crores is earmarked in the state budget 2022-23.
Focused areas of the 2022-23 budget to trigger further economic development in the state are – Contractual Farming and Bio-Bank, Textiles and Woolen Industries Development, Technology Development, Tea Development Board, Horticulture and Tourism Development, Climate Smart Irrigation System, Water Resources Harvesting and CM Swarozgar Yojana.
The Finance Minister made an honest attempt to strike a balance, equating expenditure with revenue receipts. It is estimated that there is an expectation of revenue surplus to the tune of Rs 2460.96 Crores. However, there is a possibility of deficit in public exchequer around Rs 8503.70 Crores, which is 3.07 % of the state GDP.
Hiranmoy Roy is Sr Associate Professor, School of Business, UPES. He has 21 years of professional experience and has worked on several research and consulting projects of World Bank, NITI Aayog, Government of Uttarakhand, UGC, etc. He is the recipient of best research paper award from Institute of Global Business Research (IGBR), USA.