Agartala: Tripura Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma on Thursday presented a Rs 26,893-crore budget for the 2022-23 fiscal in the assembly without proposing any new tax while emphasising on development of infrastructure, industries and social sector.

The budgetary outlay is 18.34 per cent more than that of the 2021-22 financial year.

Dev Varma, who holds the finance portfolio, estimated a deficit of Rs 569.52 crore with the total expenditure exceeding the aggregate receipts of Rs 26,323.15 crore for the next fiscal.

The total budgetary outlay is pegged at Rs 26,892.67 crore for the 2022-23 financial year (FY23).

The deputy chief minister tabled the annual financial statement for FY23 on the first day of the budget session of the House.

The gross state domestic production is estimated to grow at 13.28 per cent in the next financial year.

Dev Varma announced enhancement of monthly social pension for 3.81 lakh poor people to Rs 2000, a commitment made by the BJP in its vision document before the 2018 assembly elections. The budgetary outlay for this purpose has been hiked from Rs 415 crore to Rs 645 crore for the coming fiscal , he said.

A sum of Rs 1,000 crore has been provisioned under the Suvarna Jayanti Tripura Nirman Yojana for various infrastructure and development projects as part of the celebrations of 50 years of statehood, he said.

Dev Varma stated the World Bank has already sanctioned Rs 1,300 crore as a loan for the comprehensive development of indigenous people.

As many as eight externally aided projects have been sanctioned for Tripura for the first time and three more such projects are in the pipeline. This is the advantage of having a double-engine government, he said.

BJP leaders use the term “double engine” to refer to the party being in power at the Centre as well as in a state.

Asserting that the Tripura State Rifles (TSR) had played a key role in containing insurgency in the state, Dev Varma said the government has decided to increase the retirement age of jawans of the force from 57 to 60 years.

Around Rs six crore has been earmarked for development of TSR barracks in the rural areas. Besides, monthly benefits of ration for TSR jawans would be enhanced from Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 per person, he said.

The deputy CM also proposed a new programme – Tripura Industrial Investment Promotion Incentive Scheme – to give a boost to the sector with an allocation of Rs 100 crore.

The allocation in the education sector has been kept at Rs 5,026 crore, an enhancement of 20.66 per cent compared to the previous year, he said, adding that the outlay for the health sector has also been increased by 23 per cent to Rs 1,777 crore in the budget estimates.

Terming the budget as growth-centric and pro-people, Dev Varma said the schemes and other announcements made in the budget have financial provisions.

Opposition leader Manik Sarkar of the CPI(M), however, refused to comment on the budget and said, I can’t pass any statement before studying it.

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