1. No new taxes proposed in Bharatiya Janata Party’s first budget in Haryana

No new taxes proposed in Bharatiya Janata Party’s first budget in Haryana

The BJP-led Haryana government today presented its Budget for the 2015-16 fiscal without proposing any new taxes.

By: | Chandigarh | Updated: March 17, 2015 9:25 PM
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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar addressing during the ongoing Budget Session of the Assembly in Chandigarh. (PTI)

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) Haryana government today presented its Budget for the 2015-16 fiscal without proposing any new taxes.

Presenting the first Budget of the Manohar Lal Khattar government, Finance Minister Capt. Abhimanyu said that as per Budget Estimates, total receipts are projected at Rs 68,985.87 crore, including Rs 52,312.10 crore revenue and Rs 16,673.77 crore capital. The receipts are pegged at Rs 12,877.81 crore more when compared to Revised Estimates of the current fiscal.

“The total expenditure (excluding the repayments) under the Budget Estimates 2015-16 is projected at Rs 69,140.29 crore of which Revenue Expenditure is Rs 61,869.62 crore and Capital Expenditure is Rs 7,270.67 crore. This is an increase of Rs 7,690.47 crore and 12.52 per cent over the Revised Estimates for 2014-15,” he said.

“This is an increase of Rs 7,690.47 crore and 12.52 per cent over the Revised Estimates for 2014-15. Revenue expenditure will increase by Rs 6,950.52 crore and 12.66 and Capital Expenditure will increase by Rs 739.95 crore, an increase of 11.33 per cent over the Revised Estimates 2014-15,” the FM said.

The state Finance Minister said, “Our government does not view the budget as a mere exercise of presenting the statement of government receipts and expenditure of a given year.”

“I take this opportunity to enunciate our government’s vision on economic development of the state and our strategy in the next five years,” the FM said adding “Our government shall endeavor to take Haryana to its true growth potential through a policy of balanced development, encompassing all regions, social groups and strata and all sectors of economy.”

“We shall leverage our strategic location and demographic advantage to create ample opportunities for growth for all citizens of Haryana,” he said adding the BJP government believes firmly in the philosophy of “Antyodaya” and shall work untiringly for the social and economic upliftment of the poor and the deprived.

Capt Abhimanyu said that the budget proposal has been prepared and presented with the motto “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”.

“It has a strong focus on capital expenditure and infrastructure development. It has prioritised skill development and job creation. It looks to rectify disparities amongst social groups and regions. It increases the emphasis on social sector, renewing our commitment as a welfare state,” he said.

The Finance Minister proposed Annual Plan 2015-16 with an overall outlay of Rs 25,743.46 crore which includes central assistance of Rs 5,106.21 crore for centrally sponsored schemes.

“This is a growth of 16.44 per cent over the Revised Estimates of Rs 22,109.57 crore for 2014-15,” he said adding “besides an off budget outlay of Rs 7,467.50 crore by the State Public Sector Enterprises and Rs 798.39 crore by the local bodies will be spent in 2015-16 on development activities in the state.

He said the Budget Estimates for 2015-16 do not contain any proposal either for imposition of new taxes or any upward revision of existing tax rates.

“I propose to remove the VAT on bio-fertilisers as bio-feritilser use needs to be promoted for the sake of environment and soil health. I am also proposing to reduce the rate of VAT on LED lights, pipe fittings and pre-fabricated steel structures to 5 per cent (from 12.15 per cent) in view of the need to encourage the use of these in the context of our development strategy,” he added.

He said, “I am certain that in spite of these concessions, we will have buoyancy in our tax receipts next year because of simplified administration and better compliance.”

Abhimanyu said that 4th State Finance Commission (SFC) had submitted its final report to the state government on June 30, 2014. “Since the report of the 4th SFC was received with only one financial year (2015-16) remaining for the Finance Commission period there was no time left to follow the required procedure of constituting a cabinet sub-committee for examining the recommendations.”

“Therefore we propose to continue in 2015-16 with the present devolution pattern determined on the recommendation of the 3rd SFC,” he said adding the government will constitute the 5th SFC soon to recommend the devolution pattern for the period 2016-17 to 2020-21.

The FM said hike in allocations to all key sectors is aimed at realizing the avowed objectives of pacing up growth and ensuring equity and social justice.

Agriculture and allied sectors, including cooperation, get Rs 2,636.65 crore; power Rs 6,546.91 crore; roads and transport Rs 5,541.14 crore; irrigation Rs 2,351.74 crore; public health engineering Rs 2,671.55 crore; urban development Rs 3,409.37 crore.

Other allocations include — education, sports, art & culture Rs 11,907.09 crore; industrial training and technical education Rs 916.38 crore; health and family welfare Rs 3,028.61 crore; social justice and empowerment, including welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Rs 5,295.11 crore; and development and Panchayat Rs 2,734.71 crore.

Detailing the policies of the central government “to energise the economic environment”, including enhanced devolution of central tax resources to states from earlier level of 32 per cent to 42 per cent, he said “this flexibility of coursed brings with it a greater responsibility on us to optimise the use of these enhanced united resources.”

Abhimanyu said that government’s intention of ushering in development and welfare will bear the desired results only if these are implemented and delivered in an effective manner.

“We are committee to make the state bureaucracy efficient, effective, responsive and proactive. The delivery mechanism of the state will have to reinvent itself to meet people’s expectation of good governance. The government will reorient officials for attitudinal change and empathy for the average citizen,” he said.

He said that with this in view many far reaching programmes of e-governance have been initiated in various departments with the motto “E-Governance, Effective Governance.”

He said the government is planning to create a state resident database to link e-governance applications of various departments and to achieve convergence of data. “This will leave to better citizen service mapping and seamless programme implementation,” he said.

“Under the national optical fiber network system, benefits of digital infrastructure will be made available to the citizens. About 4,000 villages of Haryana shall be connected with 100 Mbps internet connectivity by September 2015,” he said.

Determined to give infrastructure a decisive push, the FM allocated Rs 17,331.08 Crore, including Plan outlay of Rs 5,793.65 Crore to the economic infrastructure sector. This is 7.56 per cent higher than the Revised Estimates of 2014-15.

This sector includes the Departments of Power, Public Health Engineering, PWD (B&R), Water Resources, Industries, Transport and Civil Aviation.

He said the Haryana Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management Act, 2005 had targeted to eliminate revenue deficit and contain fiscal deficit within three per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) by 2011-12 and 2010-11, respectively.

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