Baghel Carries ‘Gobar Economy’ Budget In Cow Dung Case

Story Highlights
  • CM Bhupesh Baghel presented its fourth budget today.
  • The government made a provision to restart the old pension scheme for the employees.
  • Baghel walked in with a briefcase, not made of leather, jute or plastics, but of cow dung.

Raipur: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel grabbed many eyeballs when he entered the state Assembly Wednesday to present the annual Budget carrying a briefcase made out of cow dung. The chief minister chose to carry the Budget papers in the briefcase to promote the “gobar economy” model that the state is attempting to push. According to the model, announced in 2020, the government will buy cow dung from cattle-owners at Rs 2 per kg to make cattle-rearing economically viable.

During his budget speech, Baghel also said that the state would revert to the old pension system, which assures pension after retirement to government employees. This would make Chhattisgarh the second Congress-ruled state after Rajasthan to move away from the New Pension Scheme (NPS). The briefcase had the phrase “Gomaye Vasate Laxmi” engraved on it in Hindi, which translates to “wealth resides in the cow”.

According to reports, the cow dung is also being fashioned into products at the state’s gauthans (cattle-shed premises), giving an apparent boost to income and employment. Baghel’s scheme has also been lauded in some quarters as a political masterstroke for giving primacy to cow and cow products. The ‘gobar economy’ was a central feature in the Chief Minister’s budget speech where he announced that Chhattisgarh gauthans will now be developed as rural industrial parks under the name ‘Mahatma Gandhi Grameen Udyogik Parks’.

CM Bhupesh Baghel, who holds charge of the state finance department, presented the state budget said the annual assistance under the Rajiv Gandhi Bhumihin Krishi Majdur Nyay Yojana has been increased from Rs 6,000 to 7,000 per annum from the next year. Under Chhattisgarh Rojgaar Mission Rs. 2 crores has been proposed to work on the possibilities of creating new jobs by coordinating the skill development programs. A total of Rs 600 crore has been allotted in the state budget for the program.

In the session which will conclude on March 25th, there will be 13 sittings. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Dharamlal Kaushik said the BJP was fully prepared to corner the state government during the session on several issues, particularly the “deteriorating” law and order situation.

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