With an eye on state polls due later this year and hoping for a fourth successive victory, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh presented a Rs 83,179 crore tax-free budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 on Saturday in the state assembly, amid occasional interruptions by opposition Congress members.The budget which is dubbed `highly impressive' by experts and trade bodies as Singh who holds the Finance portfolio as well, tried to please all sections of society with a thrust on agriculture, rural development and infrastructure sectors. The budget estimates for the year 2018-19 is a whopping 9.4 per cent higher compared to last fiscal year's budget estimate of Rs 76,032 crore.Though Congress has termed the budget "highly disappointing" and said the government is set to "suffer a crushing defeat this year", Singh who is heading the saffron government since December 2003 classified it as a "dream budget that caters to all sections of society"."This is the perfect budget which people were expecting from the government. It will pace up development, the budget is focussed on all sections of society and people will feel it as their own budget," Singh told a crowded press conference just after presenting the budget.
The Budget focuses on welfare of farmers, development of agricultural sector, prosperity of labourers and poor, women empowerment, welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, rural development, infrastructure development and good governance.As per advanced estimates during year 2017-18, Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Chhattisgarh State is likely to grow by 6.65 per cent on constant prices. All India GDP is likely to grow by 6.5 percent on constant prices in the same duration.During year 2017-18, GSDP of Chhattisgarh State is likely to grow in agriculture sector by 2.89 per cent, industry sector by 5.84 per cent and services sector by 9.46 per cent on constant prices. All India GDP is likely to grow in agriculture sector by 2.13 per cent, industry sector by 4.13 per cent and services sector by 8.28 per cent on constant prices for the same duration.Chhattisgarh GSDP growth is projected to remain higher than all India GDP growth. Agriculture sector component of GSDP is showing growth despite State being affected by drought conditions.During 2017-18, the contribution of agriculture sector in Chhattisgarh GSDP is likely to be 22.16 per cent, contribution of industry sector is likely to be 41.01 per cent and services sector contribution is likely to be 36.83 per cent.