Bihar’s Rs 2.18 trillion budget for FY22 prioritises social, infra sectors

Patna, 22 Feb : The Bihar government on Monday presented a Rs 2.18 lakh crore budget for 2021-22 fiscal in the Assembly, with no new tax and a thrust on infrastructure and social sectors.
Presenting the revenue-surplus budget in the House, Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad, who holds the finance portfolio, proposed to introduce a separate department for skill development and entrepreneurship.
“We have presented a budget of Rs 2,18,302.70 crore for 2021-22, which is Rs 6,541.21 crore more than the total estimates for the current fiscal. The revenue surplus is estimated at Rs 9,195.90 crore,” he said.
In his maiden budget speech, Prasad said the state government made the highest allocation of Rs 38,035.93 crore for the education sector, followed by Rs 16,835.67 crore for rural development, Rs 15,227.74 crore for roads, Rs 13,264.87 crore for health and Rs 8,560.00 crore for energy.
The deputy chief minister said an allocation of Rs 4,671 crore was made for the second phase of ‘Saat Nischay’ (seven resolves) programme, which was implemented immediately after Nitish Kumar-led NDA was back in power in the state in November last year.
Kumar had, in 2015, announced the Rs 2.7-lakh crore ‘Saat Nischay’ scheme for the first time, and promised to implement the second phase of the programme if voted to power in the last assembly polls.
Promotion of entrepreneurship, enhancement of skill, improvement of irrigation facilities, strengthening of health infrastructure, better connectivity and development of clean and prosperous villages and cities are some of the components of the scheme.
Speaking on the budget, Kumar said it was “balanced” and prepared by protecting the interests of all sections of people in the society.
He also claimed that the state has witnessed double- digit growths since 2004-05 and the budget will help keep the momentum going.
Addressing a press conference after presenting the budget in the House, Prasad said, “We have not imposed any new tax in the budget.”
Asked whether the state government will consider a proposal to lower sales tax on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the people, the deputy CM said, “I will not comment.”
Responding to a query if the government will make any proposal to bring the petroleum products under the GST regime, state finance department secretary S Siddhartha said, “We are not taking up any such suggestion for discussion. (PTI)