Economy

Thakur presents Himachal budget, aims to revive Covid-hit economy

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According to estimates, the state’s economy will register a negative growth of -6.2% in 2021-22, which is 1.5% better than the national average

Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur presented the budget for the 2021-22 in the Himachal Pradesh assembly on Saturday.

The fourth budget of the BJP government aims to revive the economy of the state that has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The world economy was hit and India and Himachal weren’t left untouched. India’s economy shrunk to -23.9% in the first quarter of this financial year. However, the steps taken by the Centre have put the economy back on track with India seeing a V-shape recovery,” Thakur said.

According to estimates, Himachal Pradesh’s economy will register a negative growth of -6.2%, which is 1.5% better than the national average, he said.

The per capita income is likely to be 1,83,286, which is 56,318 higher than the national per capita income, said Thakur.

Announcing 9,405-crore outlay for development works, the chief minister said that the state planning department will be known as Niti Vibhag. The grant received from Nabard under the rural infrastructure development fund for MLA priority schemes has been enhanced from 120 crore to 135 crore.

The MLA Local Area Development Fund, suspended after the Covid-19 outbreak last year, would be fully restored from April 1. It has been enhanced from 1.75 crore to 1.8 crore.

Salaries and allowances of legislators, cut by 30% in wake of the pandemic, will also be restored.

Given the success of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sponsored crop diversification scheme in five districts, the state government has decided to extend it to all 12 districts. The 1,055-crore scheme will be started in 2021-22.

A sum of 20 crore has been proposed for natural farming.

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