Gujarat’s Finance Minister, Kanu Desai, revealed a surplus budget of Rs 3,32,465 crore for the fiscal year 2024-25, emphasizing key areas such as nutrition, health, and education. Notably, the budget includes the transformation of seven municipalities—Navsari, Gandhidham, Morbi, Vapi, Anand, and Mehsana—into municipal corporations, expanding the state’s urban expanse beyond its current 50%.
Desai justified the move by stating the need for improved town management, considering the anticipated urban population surge to 75% by 2047. The Saurashtra-Kutch region will now boast seven municipal corporations, with Gandhidham becoming Kutch’s first. However, Porbandar remains a municipality despite its higher population compared to certain other municipalities.
The budget, devoid of new taxes, offers tax relief amounting to Rs 754 crore. In alignment with the Union government’s vehicle scrapping policy, the state introduced a one-year amnesty scheme estimated to generate around Rs 700 crore from over 52,000 vehicle owners.
Education received the highest allocation at Rs 55,114 crore, with a new scholarship scheme, “Namo Saraswati,” aimed at supporting science and technology students from low and middle-income households. Health and family welfare saw a substantial increase of 32% to Rs 20,100 crore.
The budget underscores the importance of empowered and healthy citizens, with special attention to nutrition-related schemes. Notable initiatives include the Suposhit Gujarat Mission, Namo Shri Scheme for pregnant and lactating mothers, and Namo Lakshmi Yojana for adolescent girls.
Further changes in schemes such as Doodh Sanjeevani Yojana and PM Poshan Yojana reflect the government’s commitment to enhancing nutrition programs. Additionally, a new scheme, “Anganwadi 2.0,” with a Rs 1,800 crore provision, aims to modernize and connect 20,000 anganwadis.
The budget also allocates Rs 100 crore for developing GIFT City as a planned green city and introduces a new emergency services scheme, Jan Rakshak, with a centralized system accessible through the single emergency number 112. The scheme aims to enhance emergency response times, with 1,100 equipped vehicles expected to be deployed.
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