Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who is also the Finance Minister, presented the budget estimate of Rs 54,710 crore with a plan outlay of Rs 35,322 crore (65 per cent).
The fiscal deficit stands at Rs 5761 crore (3 per cent). The budget, almost entirely focussed on social sector reforms, gave some relief to small and medium industries.
Highlighting the priorities of his government, Mr. Singh focussed on welfare and development programmes and underscored the need to strengthen the marginalised sections. The Congress called it “a populist and irresponsible budget focussed on election.”
The government placed a comprehensive budget on Saturday, unlike all other States that went to the polls a few months ago. Two most significant programmes — distribution of subsidised rice at one rupee a kg and bonus on paddy – got Rs 3,200 crore and Rs 2,400 crore, significantly higher than last year. In 2013-14, it was Rs 840 crore. However, the burden to provide subsidised rice will be on the State this year.