AAP govt’s maiden Punjab Budget on June 27

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Chandigarh:  The AAP government in Punjab will present its first state Budget on June 27, a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting here on Tuesday.

The Budget session of the state Assembly will be held from June 24 to 30, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said in a tweet.

“Congratulations to all Punjabis! The Budget prepared with the suggestions of common people will be presented for the first time in Punjab’s history,” he tweeted.

Earlier, the AAP government had sought suggestions from the general public while calling it a “Janta Budget”.

The Punjab Cabinet while approving the summoning of the Budget session of the 16th Punjab Vidhan Sabha from June 24, recommended the same to Governor Banwari Lal Purohit, who is authorised to officially summon the state legislature as per Article 174 (1) of the Constitution.

The finance minister will present the Budget for 2022-23 on June 27 and general discussion on it will take place thereafter, said an official release here.

The audit report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India for 2018-19 and 2019-20, along with financial and appropriation accounts for 2019-20 and 2020-21, will also be tabled during the session.

The Cabinet also gave a nod for giving a minimum support price of Rs 7,275 per quintal for “moong” (green gram) by Markfed, a state nodal agency for the purchase of the crop.

It was also decided to provide viability gap funding to the agency at the rate of Rs 1,875 per quintal amounting to nearly Rs 66.56 crore, said the release.

During the current season, “moong” has been sown over about 95,000 acres with an expected yield of five quintals per acre.

This will help in sowing short duration varieties of paddy, which is expected to save 10-20 per cent of underground water, thereby, conserving the natural resources.

The state Cabinet also approved the introduction of the Punjab Rural Development (Amendment) Bill-2022 in the Vidhan Sabha.

With its enactment, the rural development fund (RDF) shall be spent on various works, including construction or repair of approach roads to mandis and procurement centres, setting up of new mandis or procurement centres and augmenting storage facilities in mandis etc.

The Cabinet also decided to waive stamp duty being levied on executing the loan or hypothecation agreement up to Rs 50,000 for the street vendors in the state under PM SVANidhi Scheme.

The decision was taken to provide succor to street vendors badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government decided to waive Rs 127 levied on a loan agreement up to Rs 50,000 for street vendors.

The Cabinet also gave nod for amending The Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Act, 1977 to give MLAs of Punjab Vidhan Sabha one pension irrespective of the number of terms served.

The state government is expected to save around Rs 19.53 crore annually with this initiative, said the release.

In March, Mann had announced that former MLAs would get pension for only one term, doing away with the practice of drawing the benefit for each term served by them.

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