As always, this year’s union budget was released on 1st February by Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India. From being the first-ever digital budget to being prepared and released during the challenging times of COVID-19, this budget was special in many ways. The budget received an overwhelming response from the industry and domain experts. In the aftermath of COVID-19, experts see this as a budget that can rescue the markets, provide growth and support the tumbling Indian economy.
At the same time, Madhya Pradesh, which has already become one of the first states to launch the Aatmanirbhar roadmap, has welcomed the Union Budget 2021. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan feels that Union Budget 2021 announced by Sitharaman will help Madhya Pradesh in realizing the Aatmanirbhar campaign.
The central state has already started making proposals for key schemes announced on 1st February by the Finance Minister. For instance, the Madhya Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation has proposed a 1,000 acre land in Ratlam for developing a world-class and mega integrated textile park. The decision was taken after Sitharaman announced to launch seven mega integrated textile parks across the country in the coming three years. Madhya Pradesh has 45 textile mills that have created 3,10,000 combined jobs.
Madhya Pradesh is the fifth largest cotton-producing state in the country. Moreover, the state has been trying to ease business in the textile sector for investors and startups by introducing new reforms under the Invest India initiative. In such a scenario, a new textile park in Ratlam can be a big boost for the textile industry in the state.
The budget has further allocated Rs. 75 cr for the development of the famous Chanderi (sari) weavers and for the tourism of Gwalior-Shivpuri-Chanderi area.
The state government feels that the Union Budget 2021 will help immensely in the development of the state with Madhya Pradesh getting a big push for infrastructure projects.
Union Budget has proposed an allocation of Rs 38743 crore for 89 road projects (3636 kilometers) of Madhya Pradesh. The budget has focused on improving the metro connectivity in two prime cities of the state – Bhopal and Indore at a cost of Rs. 1565 cr and Rs. 1106 cr respectively. Union Budget has also provided Rs. 34770 cr for establishing an additional rail network of 1979 kms through eight new rail projects. This will ensure robust movement of both, freight and passenger services.
150 cr will be provided for clean air in four major cities of the state – Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Indore. In the recent past, these cities have witnessed a deteriorating air quality and a rise in breathing-related disorders. 44 Cr will be provided to the capital city of Bhopal, 50.5 Cr to Indore, 29.5 Cr each to Jabalpur and Gwalior as per the new scheme.
As per the new voluntary vehicle scrappage policy, the state government has identified more than 3 lakh (including both passenger and commercial) old and unfit vehicles, out of which 50,000 are from Bhopal only.
The budget also provides for the Ken Betwa link which will play a vital role in addressing the water crisis in the Bundelkhand region of the state. The govt believes that such green and environment-friendly schemes will empower MP’s journey to becoming a self-reliant state and a shining example for the rest of India.
This year’s budget provides ample provisions and opportunities for the state of Madhya Pradesh to accelerate its growth and realize its potential. Post COVID-19 scenario and its implications in current times demands nothing less!
Rishabh Shrivastava is an independent researcher and development consultant. All views expressed by author are personal.