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Mukul tables deficit budget

- Government mulls tax hike on liquor

Shillong, March 19: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today tabled a deficit budget for 2014-15 with an indication that the tax slab on liquor would be increased and admissible textile products brought under the tax net.

Presenting budget estimates on the last day of the budget session, Sangma told the Assembly that for 2014-15, the receipts are estimated to be Rs 11,156 crore while the expenditure is pegged at Rs 11,683 crore, leaving a fiscal deficit of Rs 527 crore.

The fiscal deficit is around 2.2 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) and well within the parameters laid down by the State’s Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, the chief minister, who also looks after the finance department, said.

In the 2013-14 budget estimates, the estimated expenditure was Rs 9,135 crore while the estimated receipts were Rs 8,609 crore, resulting in a fiscal deficit of Rs 526 crore.

Moreover, Sangma said the plan expenditure, including centrally sponsored schemes, central sector schemes, NEC and NLCPR for 2014-15 had been estimated at Rs 7,434 crore. The non-plan expenditure has been estimated at Rs 4,249 crore while interest payment is Rs 403 crore and pension payment is Rs 400 crore.

On tax and non-tax proposals, Sangma said the government was examining the proposal for upward revision of rates on sand and stone.

“We are also exploring the feasibility of increasing the tax slab for liquor and bringing into the tax net admissible textile products,” he said.

An additional revenue of around Rs 18 crore is expected from the recommendations of the 2nd interim report of the task force on resource mobilisation, he added.

He said the government had increased the rates for tobacco and tobacco-related products to 20 per cent apart from the revision of export fee on forest products.

On tax and non-tax revenue, he said the revenue collected during 2012-13 was Rs 631.12 crore. The anticipated revenue for 2013-14 is Rs 702 crore and the estimated revenue from excise is Rs 159 crore. Revenue from mining and geology sector is expected to be more than Rs 430 crore, revenue from registration and stamps around Rs 8.30 crore and the revenue collection by forest and transport departments to be Rs 36 crore and Rs 38 crore respectively.

He said the annual plan size for 2014-15 was yet to be finalised with the Planning Commission. Pending finalisation, the state government has decided to budget a plan size of Rs 4,545 crore, which is an increase of Rs 394 crore or 9.5 per cent over the preceding year.

The chief minister said the GSDP at constant prices (2004-05) stood at Rs 11,957 crore in 2012-13 (quick estimates) and Rs 13,215 crore in 2013-14 (advance estimates), indicating an increase of 10.52 per cent.

The contribution of the primary sector to the GSDP decreased from 23.25 per cent in 2004-05 to 16.7 per cent in 2010-11, he said, adding that even the advance estimates suggest a decrease of 0.34 per cent from 2012-13 to 2013-14.

However, the chief minister said the share of industry had gone up from 26.14 per cent in 2004-05 to 29.45 per cent in 2010-11, and advance estimates show that the share of industry to the GSDP was around 29 per cent in 2013-14.

The weightage of services sector increased from 50.61 per cent to 53.82 per cent from 2004-05 to 2010-11, and advance estimates of 2013-14 indicate a an increase to 55.65 per cent.

“It is important that the government’s approach to development is comprehensive and promotes inclusive growth. This commitment has resulted in significant increase in allocation made over the last four years for sectors such as agriculture and allied services, roads and social sectors like education and health. The government is committed to ensuring that the benefits of growth reach all sections of society,” Sangma said.

As a full-fledged budget cannot be passed in view of promulgation of the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls, the Assembly gave its nod to a vote-on-account of Rs 2984,67,51,400, which will be utilised for the first three months beginning April 1, 2014.


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