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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Uttarakhand budget presented: Opposition termed deceit and jugglery of financial data

Dehradun, March 20
Refraining from imposing any new taxes, the Uttarakhand Finance Minister, Indira Hridayesh, today presented a Rs 25329.84 crore revenue surplus budget for the year 2013-14 amidst Opposition din in the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly.

Presenting the second Budget, the Finance Minister tried to do the balancing act by hiking the budgetary allocation in the social sector and also offering sops to women, disabled persons, minorities, IT, hotel, food processing industry and also strengthening on human and intellectual capital.

“If you take the revenue and the capital expenditure, it is a revenue surplus budget. We have been able to tame the fiscal deficit which is 2.92 per cent of GSDP, which is within the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management venue RBM target of 3 per cent, ” said Indira Hridayesh.

To empower women in property matters, stamp duty exemption of 25 per cent will be given up to Rs 30 lakh (an increase from the earlier amount Rs 20 lakh).

The Budget also proposes to reduce stamp duty from 2 per cent to 1 per cent in cases of gift deeds in favour of family members. To encourage fruit producers, VAT on fruit wine is planned to be reduced from 32.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

To give a fillip to IT industry, the Budget proposes to extend tax concessions against form “C” till March 2015 or till implementation of GST regime.

To give relief to the hotel industry, it has been proposed to do away with the luxury tax being imposed on the hotels offering SPA activities.

Stamp duty exemption in case of property transfers to disabled persons is proposed to be enhanced from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

VAT rate of wire crates used for disaster prevention and flood protection works is proposed to be reduced from 13.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

For development of infrastructure facilities in SC majority areas, a provision of Rs 50 crore has been included, which is in addition to the other specific departmental schemes. For the welfare of minorities, Rs 75 crore has been provided in the Budget.

The Budget estimate shows a receipt of Rs 18,955.72 crore under the consolidated fund, of which Rs 11,007.81 is tax revenue and Rs 7,947.91 crore is under non-tax revenue.
The total expenditure from the consolidated fund of the state in 2013-2014 under the non-plan expenditure is at Rs 16,6619.46 crore, of which Rs 4,422.97 crore is on revenue and Rs 2,196.49 crore on capital account.
Despite the financial constraints, the government has increased provision in major departments as compared to last year.
The increase in budgetary allocation in education sector is estimated at Rs 4,875 crore in 2013-2014. In 2012-2013, it was Rs 4,321 crore. The allocation in health has increased from Rs 996 crore in 2012-2013 to Rs 1,209 crore in 2013-214.
The allocation for the social welfare scheme has increased from Rs 1,000 crore in 2012-2013 to Rs 588 crore in 2013-2014. The allocation towards roads has increased from Rs 1,167 crore in 2012-2013 to Rs 1,314 crore in 2013-2014.
A provision of Rs 3,262 crore has been made, which is 46 per cent higher than 2012-2013.

A pack of lies, says Bhatt

Dehradun, March 20
Ajay Bhatt, Leader of the Opposition in the Uttarakhand Assembly, has termed the Budget presented by the state government as a document of falsehood, deceit and jugglery of financial data.

Bhatt in a statement said the state government had utterly failed to use 41 per cent of the funds of the previous Budget. He added it was unlikely that the government would be able to generate resources as it had reduced taxes for high-end users like Spa and Wines in the Budget.

He said the government managed to survive last year only due to the Central grant and pension funds of Rs 2,300 crore made available by the Uttar Pradesh government. The Budget was highly disappointing for the common people of the state, he added.

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