Itanagar : Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Friday presented the Rs 285 crore deficit budget for the year 2017-18 with major thrust on social sectors, infrastructure development, women empowerment and law and order.“The budget embraces all sections of society and makes them equal stakeholders in the progress of the state. It is a blueprint of reform and transformation and an embodiment of the hopes of the youth and in many ways a significant departure from the past,” Mein, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said in his two-hour-long budget speech. He said the government had endeavored to infuse greater degree of decentralization in decision making and fixing accountability at the operational levels. “We have kept a close watch on our expenditure management through a more scientific expenditure authorization mechanism, based on actual progress of work and available cash balances,” the finance minister said.
Terming the budget as ‘People’s Budget’, Mein said that the budget reflects an honest attempt to address the core socio economic challenges facing the state and the main trust was on jobs, skills and entrepreneurship for the youth, transformation of rural economy including agriculture and allied sectors, health care services and improving quality education, social security for destitute, disabled and old-aged people besides creating an environment for stimulating private investment in agro-processing, hydro power, horticulture and tourism. “It has demonstrated the resolve of the government for transparency in recruitment and seeks to liberalize the framework of governance and incorporates some bold decisions,” the deputy chief minister said.
The finance minister said that the underpinning philosophy of the budget draws upon 15 broad themes including, enhance transparency through governance reforms, empowering the youth, transformation of rural farm economy, unlocking the latent potential of land, introducing of policy measures to stimulates entrepreneurship, public investment, overhaul of the education system, effective and affordable health services delivery model, social security, women empowerment and to follow a sustainable growth path in harmony with environment.
“For all the IT initiatives, the budget proposes an allocation of 15 crore under the scheme Digital Arunachal,” Mein said. He said the government had decided to establish a Skill University in the state with public-private-partnership (PPA) framework. Besides three employment centres to be run on PPP model, vocational training courses in colleges and establishment of paramedical training college on PPP model have been proposed for skill development with an allocation of Rs 5 crore.
In agriculture and allied sectors he said, the government had set a policy target to achieve self sufficiency in food grains. An amount of Rs 10 crore has been earmarked to take up land terracing activities, allocation of Rs 2 crore under Chief Minister’s Mission Organic, ten crore for establishing four tea and rubber nurseries, three crore under Chief Minister’s Krishi Rin Yojana, 5 crore for establishing a state level Agriculture Information Hub cum farmers’ hostel at Naharlagun, ten crore for agri-mechanization programme, five crore corpus fund to State Horticulture Research and Development Institute, two crore for four new nurseries, 2 crore for auction centres, 20 crore for providing plantation materials to farmers were proposed in the budget. “An initial outlay of five crore has been proposed for the Chief Minister’s white revolution programme to establish an integrated dairy development project in Lohit district,” he said adding, under the blue revolution scheme the government would provide support to 1000 fish farmers for construction of fishing ponds and fish seed for which an allocation of 6 crore has been proposed in the budget.
The government will roll out a new industrial policy focusing employment and will develop industrial estates in the foothill districts for which a budgetary allocation of 15 crore has been proposed,” Mein said adding, an amount of Rs 10 crore had been proposed for developing a food park at Tippi in West Kameng district.
The deputy chief minister further stated that an amount of 30 crore was earmarked in the budget for Chief Minister’s Adhunik Shiksha Yojana to cover 1500 smart classrooms. An education hub at Tezu in Lohit district has been proposed with an initial outlay of 2 crore, he added. An allocation of Rs 45 crore has also been proposed for completing the infrastructure of medical college at Naharlagun and for recruitment of new faculty for the college which would likely to start from 2018-19.
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