MP hikes budgetary provisions for energy, roads

Bhopal: In view of next year's assembly polls, Madhya Pradesh government not only reduced the VAT on petrol, but also increased the budgetary provisions for the energy sector by 49 per cent and roads by 35 per cent, as both are major poll issues in the state since 2003.

State Finance Minister Raghavji, who presented his ninth budget in the assembly today, has also fulfilled the long-pending demand of state government employees, to raise their DA by 7 per cent to bring it on par with their the central government employees, effective from April 1, 2012.

This decision will put an extra burden of Rs 1,057 crore on the government treasury, he added.

In order to provide relief to the people facing the heat of rising petrol prices, the government has announced reduction in VAT from 28.75 per cent to 27 per cent, thus making the fuel cheaper by Rs 1.25 to Rs 1.50 per litre the state, he said.

Power, which is a major issue in the state before 2003 and continues to haunt the ruling party till date, the state government has made a provision of Rs 7,710 crore in 2012-13, which is 49 per cent more than 2011-12.

Under this, Rs 1,082 crore will be earmarked for upgrading and strengthening transmission and sub-transmission lines, while Rs 384 crore were kept for raising the power generation capacity.

For promoting generation from non-conventional energy sources, a provision of Rs 27 crore has been made in the budget, the Minister said.

Another major poll issue in the state is roads, for which, Rs 4,342 crore which is 35.35 per cent more than 2011-12, have been allocated.

In order to connect villages with the all-weather roads, which are not covered under the Prime Minister Rural Road Scheme, a provision of Rs 900 crore was made under the Chief Minister Rural Road Scheme.