Finance minister Jagdish Devda on his way to the Vidhan Sabha  to present the Budget on Tuesday.
Finance minister Jagdish Devda on his way to the Vidhan Sabha to present the Budget on Tuesday.

BHOPAL: Reflections of the upcoming local body elections could be seen clearly in the Budget allocations by the government. The state government has made no increase in the Budget for the Scheduled Caste Welfare Department, while it has kept the departments of cooperative and energy on top, increasing their budgetary allocations by more than 100%.

The Budget for the energy department has been raised from Rs 5,964 crore in 2020-21 to Rs 12,184 crores for the year 2021-22, thereby giving a hike of 104%. Experts say that the increase in allocation is meant to compensate the power distribution companies for the electricity they provide at subsidised rates to farmers.

Similarly, a hike of 103% in the form of Rs 722 crore has been added to the previous Budget of the cooperative department that stood at Rs 703 crore in 2020-21. After the hike, the cooperative department has been allocated a Budget of Rs 1,425 crore for the year 2021-22. Various farmers’ schemes are catered through the cooperative department.

Surprisingly, there has been zero increase in the Budget for the SC Welfare Department that has remained stagnant with only Rs 1,495 crore. The ST welfare department and Minority and OBC welfare department have seen a marginal increase of 9% in their Budget.

28.93% of the Budget to go on salaries

More than half (51.92%) of the Budget of the state government will be spent on such heads as paying the salaries and pensions of government employees and interest on government loans. The government will be spending 28.93% of the Budget on salaries and 10.27% on pensions to its employees. About 12.72% of the total Budget will be spent on paying interest on loans.

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Free Press Journal