Chandigarh, Mar 21 (IANS): Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in his reply on the budget speech in the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday announced that now MLAs can spend Rs 2 crore being given under the Vidhayak Adarsh Gram Yojana for development works in the urban areas as well.
Earlier, the MLAs used to spend the grant in rural areas only, but now this amount can be used for the development works in the urban areas as well. Khattar announced to rename this scheme as 'Adarsh Nagar Evam Gram Yojana'.
The Chief Minister also announced that the girl's college to be constructed at Balsamand in Hisar will be named after Late Chaudhary Bhajan Lal.
Khattar said apart from the already announced 4,000 playway schools in 2022-23, now an additional 4,000 playway schools would be opened across the state.
Responding to contradictory figures shared by Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda on the state's debt, Khattar said that sharing five different "figures are going to question the credibility of Hooda only. Every time the Opposition leader shares different figures, it dents his image only".
"We are not afraid of criticism, will keep introducing good governance reforms," the Chief Minister said.
Clarifying the definition of debt, Khattar said that in public debt, three different heads are included.
"The Opposition should not confuse one with the other while calculating the final debt figures. The state's public enterprises' loan figure in 2014-15 was Rs 69,922 crore, while in 2021-22 the figure was Rs 47,211 crore. The debt graph of the state at present has declined.
"Our GSDP is constantly rising. At present, it has increased up to Rs 10 lakh crore. The debt limit increased from 25 per cent to 33 per cent during the Covid-19 period. We are within the prescribed limit of around 26-27 per cent, while the neighbouring Punjab is at 48 per cent," the Chief Minister said.
Khattar said that with an investment of Rs 90 per person, Haryana is in the third position in the country in terms of investment after Karnataka and Maharashtra which have per person investment of Rs 303 and Rs 108, respectively.
"Our investment graph is constantly increasing," he said.
The Chief Minister said that Rs 7,314 crore has been allocated for agriculture and allied sectors for 2023-24, which is 3.9 per cent of the total budget. In the revised budget estimates of 2022-23, it was Rs 5,758 crore and in 2021-22 it was Rs 4,100 crore.
He said that in 2014-15, the total allocated budget for this sector was Rs 2,156 crore, which was only 3.4 per cent. The present government has allocated 3.9 per cent to this sector, Khattar said.
On why Haryana gets less financial help from the Centre as compared to the neighbouring states, the Chief Minister said the Centre "follows the formula of the more progressive the state is, lesser the financial grant will be.
"The financial aspects in Haryana are well managed and this is the reason we get less help (from the Centre) as compared to our neighbouring states," he said.
The budget for 2023-24 was unanimously passed in the House after the Chief Minister's reply.