Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel announced an annual budget worth Rs 1.83 trillion for fiscal year 2018-19 focusing on placating the farmers with new employment opportunities and a considerable amount dedicated to health – especially in rural areas.

After coming into power in Gujarat after recent elections, the budget announced is the first for the Rupani-led government. While there are not many new schemes, the Rs 1.83 trillion budget focuses on two groups which had bitterly attacked the Rupani government in its previous tenure – the youth and rural citizens. The budget focuses on youth by giving impetus to employment generation with a string of freebies for students and placating farmers with different healthcare, educational and employment schemes dedicated to rural population. Also, the Gujarat budget presented on Tuesday has been upped to Rs 1.83 trillion compared to Rs1.72 trillion last year.

The budgetary provisions of the latest Gujarat bill shows how the state government has chalked down an ambitious plan of providing employment to at least 9 lakh youth. The plan includes 30,000 new recruitments in government jobs, four lakh through ‘Rozgaar Melas (recruitment fairs), and self-employment opportunities for nearly two lakh youth through various schemes. To take care of the students, the Mukhyamantri Apprenticeship Scheme was introduces – under which, graduates will be paid additional stipend of Rs 3,000 per month, diploma-holders Rs 2,000, and others Rs 1,500 along with their salaries in the private sector.

With Rs 27,500 crore, the education department has got the highest provision in the budget. The Budget also includes a promise of developing science centres in five schools in each Taluka, that is, in 1,250 schools, to nurture curiosity among schoolchildren. Besides employment and education, the budget has allocation of Rs 9,750 crore for health and family welfare department, Rs 6,755 crore for agriculture and farmer welfare, Rs 3,080 crore for nutrition and general wellbeing of women and children, Rs 9,250 crore for roads and buildings, among others. Another top priority for the government would be water management and providing sufficient water supply in the state – for which, Rs 15,000 crore has been budgeted for Narmada, water resources water supply and Kalpasar.