Gujarat Budget 2022: Will Patel Govt Present a ‘Populist Budget’ in Election Year?

Kanubhai Desai, the finance minister of Gujarat is all set to present the incumbent government’s final budget on March 3. Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns to prevent the spread have severely impacted the state in the last two years. All eyes will be on Bhpendra Patel government’s first budget to see how the government plans to bring the state’s economy back on track.

With a state election due later this year, the upcoming budget is likely to be a populist one, believed experts. Gujarat state budget is expected to focus on social welfare schemes. It must be noted that the major subsidies provided by the state government rose to an estimated Rs 19,768 crore by the end of 2020-21 from Rs 4,975 crore in 2010-11, according to a report by the Indian Express. Power subsidy to the agriculture sector is the largest contributor at Rs 9,733 crore, according to the report.

Industry experts are hoping for major policy boost, especially in infrastructure and manufacturing sector for accelerate the pace of economic recovery.

With oil prices sky-rocketing in last one year, industries want the state government to reduce the Value Added Tax or VAT for Piped Natural Gas or PNG used by the industries. “We are expecting a relaxation in VAT (Value Added Tax) for PNG (Piped Natural Gas) used by industries. PNG prices have risen by almost 40 per cent during last year,” said Vinod Agarwal, chairman of CII, Gujarat, quoted Indian Express.

Gujarat Budget Session: Important Dates, Timeline

The month-long budget session of Gujarat assembly will start on March 2. The state budget will be presented on Thursday, March 3. Then, the Gujarat budget will be discussed and debated in the assembly for the next four days. This will be followed by a three-day discussion on the Governor’s address and a two-day discussion on the supplementary demands of various wings. The Budget session will end on March 31.

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