Incentive for women under inter-caste marriage scheme raised
The Bihar Government has allotted the largest share of its Budget to the ation sector followed by road development. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi presented the Budget in the State ly on Thursday.
Of the total Budget of Rs.92,087.93 crore for 2013-14, the share forducation is Rs.11,292.23 crore for non-Pan and Rs.6,988.55 crore for Pan outlay. The estimated spending on road construction and rural works is Rs.7,208.42 crore while the share of agriculture is Rs.2,176.76 core.
Under the Scheduled Caste sub-plan, Rs.5,769 crore has been earmarked which constitutes 16 per cent of the expenditure. Under the Indira Awas scheme, SC and ST beneficiaries who have not been able to finish the construction of their houses would be given Rs.15,000 each. A provision of Rs.25 crore has been made for the purpose.
The Government has increased the incentive for women under the inter-caste marriage scheme from Rs.25,000 to Rs.50,000.
The Budget has carved out Rs.303 crore for a residential project on 60.70 acres in Patna for members of the Bihar legislature. Construction of Police Headquarters has also been proposed in over 39,000 square metres.
Mr. Modi said he has presented a Budget with a Rs.6,808.85 crore revenue surplus. The total revenue receipts stand at Rs.80,066.47 crore and the fiscal deficit is Rs.8,769.45 crore. He said a gender Budget would be presented soon.
In the area of “women’s empowerment,” complete road tax exemption has been given to women owners of commercial vehicles, who ought to be either driving the vehicle possessing a valid driving licence or employing women drivers. When pointed out that such women would be rare to find, Mr. Modi said the provision was meant to “encourage” women.
Coconuts and non-perfumed incense sticks were made tax-free considering their religious significance. On the other hand the surcharge on country-made and foreign liquor is set to be increased.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar welcomed the Budget saying revenue surplus was a sign of good fiscal management and there was no significant tax hike.
Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, criticised the Budget as being “anti-minority.” He said while the size of minority population in the State was 18 per cent the allocation for minority-related schemes was only 0.16 per cent.