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A balanced and forward looking budget
March, 18th 2010

Chairman, CII Punjab State Council  Gunbir Singh, welcomed the balanced and comprehensive budget presented by the Finance Minister of Punjab Manpreet Singh Badal. He said that Government of Punjabs focus on fiscal management will help the state in reducing its revenue and fiscal deficit. 

CII appreciates the Government of Punjabs special focus on improvement of infrastructure in the state. The power sector has received maximum outlay in the budget amounting to about 25% of the total plan outlay. Also, outlay on the road sector has been increased to Rs. 1,100 crores along with Rs. 916 crore provided by the PIDB for creation of Infrastructure.

On Sill Development, singh. said budget provides for up-gradation of 35 Industrial Institutes into Centres of Excellence, up-gradation of technical institutions into multipurpose academies and up-gradation of Government Polytechnics and ITIs. Also, the Government plans to set up 7 new Polytechnics, increasing the numbers of C-PYTE centers to 20 and establish Engineering Institute in the campus of Polytechnic at Lehragaga. These policy measures will go long way in resolving the skill gap in the state.

On environment and climate change, Gunbir Singh said the measures announced in the budget are forward looking. Some of the major announcements made in the budget are outlay of Rs. 10 crore for R&D in climate resilient agriculture, encouraging the use of energy efficient CFLs and Water conservation, water treatment and recycling.

Singh said that the budget provisions related to agriculture will go long way in betterment of agriculture sector in the state. Some of the positive measures announced in the budget are renewed emphasis on the Agricultural Research and Development by enhancing the provision to PAU , Ludhiana to Rs. 105 crore in the year   2010-11 and allocation of Rs. 331 crore for agriculture and allied sectors. Additionally, the Irrigation Sector received special focus with 18 % jump in its outlay. The Government aims to enhance the intake capacity of canals to increase irrigation potential and has allotted Rs. 645 Crore for the purpose.

Government increased the Electricity duty from 1% to 3%. However, the entertainment tax has been reduced to 25% from 125%. 

On increased focus on IT usage in the State Administration, Gunbir Singh said that it will reduce the time for processing and increase transparency in the Government Departments.

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