Budget to push digital revolution in State

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Mar 2017 11:07:05

Staff Reporter,


Mar 6,


Budget stands on six pillars including digital inclusion, welfare of poorest of poor, inclusive growth, creation of development opportunities through infrastructure building, strengthening of human capital and good governance

Goods and Services Tax is to be implemented soon.
Hence, no major change in tax structure proposed

Presenting his 11th budget on Monday, Dr Raman Singh, Chief Minister spelt out his six-fold strategy for the all-round development of Chhattisgarh. The six pillars on which his strategy is built are digital inclusion, welfare of poorest of the poor, inclusive growth, creation of development opportunities through infrastructure building, strengthening of human capital and good governance. With an outlay of Rs 76,032 crore, the budget focuses on infrastructure, social sectors and agriculture.

Addressing a crowded press conference soon after tabling the Budget Demand Proposals for the financial year 2017-18, Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh said still 36 percent area in Chhattisgarh is under dark zone, where people do not have any mobile connectivity. The state government is launching Suchna Kranti Yojana (SKY) that would enable family living below poverty line (BPL) and college students to get smart-phones free of cost. The beneficiaries would also be entitled for free subscriber identification module (SIM) card. Accordingly, the government would distribute 4.5 million smart phones free of cost to push digital inclusion in the state.
A provision of Rs 200 crore has been made for the first phase of the programme, said the Chief Minister. The programme would draw a phase wise investment of Rs 900 crore, he added. He further added that 1500 mobile towers will be established in 2.5 years in order to enhance connectivity in the state. As a break-up for distribution of 45 lakh smart-phones, the Chief Minister said 29.5 lakh (BPL) phones would be distributed in the rural sector, approximately 13 lakh (BPL) in urban sector and 2.5 lakh among college students. Another Rs 80 crore has been provisioned for Laptop and Tablet distribution.

Dr Singh said under the Bastar Net project, digital information highway is being set up by laying 800 km optical fiber cable particularly in the areas affected with Left Wing Extremism (LWE). Digital Army comprising of 18 lakh people has been trained for payment in digital/cashless mode. He added that 12348 fair price shops across the state would be fully digitalized and linked to digital payment mode. In the first phase, Public Distribution Scheme in 5 districts will go cashless.

Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh who also holds the portfolio of Finance Ministry said 19 percent has been earmarked for capital expenditure apart from earmarking 36 percent for development in Scheduled Tribes areas and 12 percent for development in SC areas. A whooping 41 percent has been earmarked for social sector expenditure while 38 percent has been earmarked for Economics Sector Expenditure.

Dr Singh said his Budget continues emphasis on fiscal prudence. Adding that the state is in a very comfortable position so far as its financial position is concerned he said the budget for the financial year 2017-18 has underlined that the estimated expenditure is 7.58 percent higher than the revised estimate of 2016-17. While the revenue surplus is estimated at Rs 4781 crore, the gross fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 9647 crore, which is 3.49 percent of the GSDP. Dr Raman Singh, presented a budget estimate of 76,032 crore for the fiscal 2017-18.
The Estimated Revenue receipt is Rs 66,094 crore, which includes the central share of centrally sponsored schemes i.e. Rs 14,101 crore. With an estimated growth of 6.6 percent in tax revenue and 3.8 percent in non-tax revenue, the total growth in state’s own revenue is 6 percent. Due to plan and non-plan merger in central budget, the budget estimate of 2017-18 is classified as revenue expenditure and capital expenditure only. Total revenue expenditure estimated is Rs 61,313 crore and total capital expenditure is Rs 14,454 crore.