Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The state government presented its last Budget on Wednesday before the assembly election.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is an astute politician who won two elections and formed the government. Having lost another election by a whisker, Chouhan has begun to set up his electoral chess board through the current Budget.
Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is more popular among women, Chouhan could not prevent them from voting for the Congress in the last election.
The reason was that the government paid attention to women’s welfare, but it did not give them as many benefits as they should have been provided with.
Nevertheless, the government has tried to woo women by giving them financial aid, which has become a major political ploy of the ruling dispensation.
Finance Minister Jagdish Devda began the last year’s budget speech by announcing benefits for the farmers, but he started this year’s budget speech by declaring welfare schemes for women.
The main points of the budget include announcement of Rs 1,000 for each woman every month through Ladli Behna scheme, scooty for girls, loan for self-employment and a hike in widow pension from Rs 600 to Rs 1,000.
There are 5.39 crore voters. Of them, 2.60 crore are women. Ergo, the BJP is trying to woo them.
Because of the assembly election, the ruling party is also focusing on the SC/ST community. The budget for their welfare schemes has been increased by 37%, which is more than Rs 63,000 crore.
The major challenge before the government is creating job opportunities. Although the government has spoken about employment and self-employment in the budget, the challenge to generate jobs remains.
According to information put up in the House, only 21 people got jobs through employment offices across the state in the past three years.
In the election year, the government may have tried to please all communities, but the main problem is to generate funds to fulfill these promises.
According to statistics provided by the finance department, the state will be in debt of Rs 3.31 lakh crore when the current fiscal year ends.
Similarly, when the next financial year ends, the debt will shoot up to Rs 3.85 lakh crore.
The debt figure put up in the House is more than Rs 3.14 lakh crore. Now, it is to be seen how the government implements the promises it has made in the populist budget.
The government has to increase its sources of income and reduce the revenue expenses. It has become necessary for the government to think that the populist schemes announced in the budget for votes should be become an impediment in the way of governance.
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