On Friday, in the state assembly, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Sukhvinder Sukhu presented the budget for the financial year 2023-2024. During the assembly meeting, Singh stated, “Himachal will now focus on moving forward  as a model state for electric vehicles.” 

source code: deccanherald.com

In the budget, it is stated that ₹1000 crore has been set aside for 1500 diesel buses for replacement. An announcement has been made regarding the purchase of electric scooters for 20,000 girls attending government schools with a subsidy of ₹25,000

Himachal Pradesh’s CM to provide electric scooters for 20,000 girls – states in the budget
According to Himachal CM, a new horticulture policy will be implemented to protect horticulturists from middlemen.

In the assembly, CM Sukhvindar Sukhu further added, “Kangra will be on the development list to be a tourist spot as an initiative to boost tourism. Also, the heliport facility will be connecting all 12 districts within the one-year time frame.”

The CM during the election phase assured that he will be fulfilling all his promises made to the people of Himachal Pradesh. In his manifesto, he mentioned that about 2,31,000 women will get ₹1,500 per month, including the payout, which will cost ₹416 crores per year to the exchequer.

The health infrastructure to improve in the state by introducing robotic technology in all of the five medical colleges and the casualty wards to be converted into emergency medicine departments are the important things that were mentioned in the manifesto.

According to Himachal CM, a new horticulture policy will be implemented to protect horticulturists from middlemen.

Himachal Pradesh’s new Budget

source code: tribuneindia.com

On the commitment to bringing old annuity plots back to the state, he said, “We have come to work for the government assistance of individuals and have repaired old annuity conspire to help around 1.36 representatives of the state.”

To protect horticulturists from middlemen, the chief minister announced the implementation of a new horticulture policy.

The honorarium for Panchayat representatives and MNREGA daily wages will also be increased from 212 to 240 rupees in the budget that was mentioned.

To raise $100 million annually, the sale of liquor bottles will be subject to a “Cow Cess” of $10 per bottle.

Due to the payment of the revised pay scale and DA arrears totaling 11,000 crore, the state faces a massive debt of 75,000 crore rupees. In 2022-23, the state’s GDP growth rate remained sluggish, falling to 6.4% from 7.6% in 2021-22.

According to officials, the Himachal Pradesh government’s decision to levy a water cess on hydropower projects will raise power tariffs by at least 1 per unit. States like Punjab, which buy power, may challenge this, even as the Centre considers revising its current policy, which grants 12% free energy to the host state if such unjustified levies are imposed.

Himachal deputy chief minister Mukesh Agnihotri stated that the bill has been introduced based on similar ones in Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir when he presented it to the Assembly. He stated that the courts in Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand rejected the petitions filed by individuals opposing the bill. Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, the chief minister, stated that the bill had been carefully considered.

“Imposition of water cess will lead to litigations and hinder the growth of a clean energy source, particularly for those states that levy water cess,” stated author and constitutional tax expert Abhishek A. Rastogi. It is also a losing proposition because new projects may choose to invest in states that are more welcoming to investors.

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