Bhopal: Reacting to the 2017-18 budget presented in the State assembly on Wednesday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan termed the budget as historic and people oriented apart from being a well-wisher of farmers. He said that it is largely a budget designed for the welfare of farmers and for the development of the poor. This budget has instilled hope and confidence in the youth. It is a budget that empowers women and saves the environment. It is a budget for river conservation. The Chief Minister said that adequate provisions have been made for the social sector, be it School Education, Higher Education or Medical Education. The budget for Medical Education has been raised to 61 per cent. To strengthen health facilities, the budget for health has been increased up to 16 per cent. Women who have lost their husbands (widows) will now acquire pension irrespective of her financial status. Government employees will get the seventh pay scale from the month of July.

Chouhan said that provision of more than Rs 33,000 crore has been made for the agriculture sector. He said that several schemes have been launched for the welfare of poor under the Welfare Year for Poor. Adequate provision has been made for the education of talented children. Budget has been raised in proportion to the SC/ST population.

Chouhan said that the new budget would bring the state in the line of developed states. Adequate provision has been made for irrigation and roads with the view of infrastructure development. There is a 12 per cent hike in budget for irrigation and 28 per cent for NVDA.

The Chief Minister said that asphaltation work would be carried out under the Mukhya Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. Efforts are being made to improve power arrangements. Arrangements have been made for housing, medicine and education for the lower strata of society.

Chouhan said that the government will pay for the admission of talented children who acquire 85 percent marks into national educational institutes without any discrimination. If the Medical College is private, then they will be asked to sign a bond for service in rural areas. With this aim a fund with Rs 1000 crore is being made for which Rs 500 crore budget has been provided.