Punjab budget focuses on energy, social sector


Chandigarh : The Punjab government Tuesday presented the budget for 2009-10, laying emphasis on the energy and social service sectors.

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The total size of the budget was Rs.40,262.15 crore (Rs.402.62 billion) that included expenditure of Rs.30,306.26 crore, capital expenditure of Rs.3,550.15 crore and public debt repayment of Rs.6,362.62 crore.

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said the revenue deficit for 2009-10 is expected at Rs.4,234 crore, compared to Rs.3,812 crore in 2008-09.

“The outlay for annual plan 2009-10 is kept at Rs.8,625 crore, 39 percent higher compared to last year. This is the largest annual plan so far approved for the state and it would put Punjab on high growth path,” Manpreet Singh Badal told the assembly.

This is the third budget of the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government.

Given the energy deficiency in the state, Rs.2,596 crore or over 30 percent of the total plan is earmarked for the energy sector giving thrust to power generation, distribution and upgradation of transmission.

The second priority is social services sector with Rs.2,213 crore (26 percent) of the plan outlay, with emphasis on pensions to old and other sections of society, skill development and employment generation, rural water supply schemes, urban development and welfare of weaker sections.

As much as Rs.657 crore have been earmarked for weaker and disadvantaged sections of society.

The finance minister also announced that the recommendations of the state’s Fifth Pay Commission will be implemented by August 2010, which would put a burden of around Rs.3,000 crore on the state.