Punjab assembly passes Budget for 2008-09

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Chandigarh, Mar 24 (UNI) The Punjab Assembly today passed the Appropriation Bill-2008, authorising the state government to draw an amount of Rs 31568.59 crore out of the Consolidated Fund of the state for the year 2008-09.

This amount will be reqired to meet the expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund and the grants made in advance by the Legislative Assembly in respect of the estimated expenditure of the state for the next fiscal year.

The Bill moved by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal at the end of the discussions on the Budget Estimates was passed in the House by voice vote.

The maximum allocation out of the planned expenditure has been made to the irrigation and power sector, followed by social welfare services, transport and agriculture.

The Finance Minister while winding up the debate on the Budgetary Estimates said that within the circumstances, it was the best budget, which was planned for the next five years. ''I think we are on the correct course,'' he added.

Bowing to the demands of certain members, Mr Badal announced a grant of Rs 50 crore for the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), which had played an important role in the Green Revolution. This grant would be in the form of a corps fund and world be used only for research work.

He also announced an increase from Rs six crore to Rs 15 crore for the purchase of medicines for government hospitals and dispensaries. He also increased the amount for the development of focal points in the state from Rs 23 crore to Rs 50 crore.


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