Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar led BJP government in Haryana today proposed no fresh tax in its fourth budget for 2018-19, while keeping its size at Rs 1.15 lakh crore with focus on raising expenditure in key sectors, including farm, education, health, industry, skill development and infrastructure. Presenting the state budget fourth year in a row in the state assembly here today, Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu said the budget was aimed to “usher in a new era of balanced growth”, while adding that he tried to take every stakeholder on board in consonance with the theme of ‘Haryana Ek Haryanvi Ek’. He said the present government was seeking to turn Haryana as model state in terms of fiscal management.
The budget proposed to reduce the rate of value added tax on sale of natural gas from 12.5 per cent to six per cent. The finance minister tabled budget with total size of Rs 1,15,198.29 crore, a jump of 12.6 per cent over the budget estimates of Rs 1,02,329.35 crore during last fiscal, and 14.4 per cent over revised estimates of Rs 1,00,739.38 crore of 2017-18.
The budget outlay comprises 26.1 per cent as capital expenditure of Rs 30,012 crore, and 73.9 per cent as revenue expenditure of Rs 85,187 crore, said Abhimanyu in his 96-minute speech. Not proposing any new tax in the budget, the finance minister expressed confidence of attaining total revenue of Rs 76,933.02 crore during next fiscal, about 10 per cent increase over revenue receipts of last financial year, while depending upon better realisation of tax and non-tax receipts.
Among tax revenue, the state FM proposed mobilisation from GST, VAT, excise duty and stamp and registration at Rs 23,760 crore, Rs 11,444 crore, Rs 6,000 crore and Rs 4,500 crore, respectively, in next fiscal. Expressing government’s commitment of constructing Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal to get its rightful share of water of Ravi-Beas, the minister proposed to allocate Rs 100 crore, informing the house that “for construction of SYL canal even if Rs 1,000 crore is required, we will provide the same”.
In the last budget also, Rs 100 crore was allocated for SYL. Among the sectoral allocations in the budget, the minister proposed “historic” 51.22 per cent increase in the outlay for agriculture and allied activities from Rs 2,709.69 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 4,097.46 crore in 2018-19, underlining that the state government was working in tandem with the Centre to achieve target set by the prime minister to double farmers’ income by 2022.
For irrigation and water resources, the FM proposed an outlay of Rs 3,222.21 crore, up by 20.01 per cent over last fiscal’s outlay, and further informed the house that the present government has been able to make available water to most of canal tails for the first time in last 39 years. For health and medical education sector, the budget proposed to allocation of Rs 4,769.61 crore, an increase of 25.02 per cent. For education sector, the FM proposed total outlay of Rs 13,978.22 crore, registering a 10 per cent jump over last fiscal’s expenditure.
The finance minister proposed Rs 657.94 crore for skill development, Rs 3,169.70 crore for PWD (B&R), Rs 201.27 crore for civil aviation, Rs 15,372.16 crore for power, Rs 399.86 crore for industries, Rs 4,301.88 crore for rural development, Rs 5,626.84 crore for urban development, Rs 4,791.14 crore for home, Rs 6,812.30 crore for SC, BC welfare, and Rs 1,385.73 crore for women, child development in the budget.
On fiscal parameters, the FM said, “Following prudent fiscal management policies during the last three years, the present government has been able to keep all fiscal parameters, except the revenue deficit, within the limits prescribed by the Fourteenth Finance Commission and under the FRBM Act”.
Claiming that the government had been able to reverse the increasing trend in revenue deficit, he said, “For fiscal 2018-19, I have targeted to bring it further down to about 1.20 per cent of GSDP, and by the end of 2019-20, we aim to bring it close to zero”. The revenue deficit has been projected at Rs 8,253.51 crore for 2018-19 as against revised estimates Rs 8,226.17 crore for 2017-18.
The fiscal deficit, another key fiscal indicator, has been proposed at Rs 19,399.34 crore as against Rs 17,240.45 crore in 2017-18. The FM said the fiscal deficit which has remained within the stipulated limit of three per cent of GSDP, is likely to be 2.82 per cent of the GSDP in 2018-19. The debt liability in the state budget has been proposed at Rs 1,61,159 crore for 2018-19 in comparison to revised estimates of Rs 1,41,792 crore in 2017-18.
The capital expenditure, on which FM has been stressing, has also been proposed at Rs 30,012 crore, indicating increase of 34 per cent over 2017-18. Asserting that objective of inclusive growth was incomplete unless it percolates to poor, Abhimanyu said Rs 8,078.45 crore has been earmarked for welfare of scheduled castes.