No new taxes as Haryana budget crosses Rs 1 lakh crore

Chandigarh, March 6 (IANS) The Haryana government on Monday proposed no new taxes in the annual budget which has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore for the first time and said the state economy was in the “pink of health”.

Finance Minister Abhimanyu, presenting his third consecutive budget, proposed a budget of Rs 1,02,329.35 crore for fiscal 2017-18, an increase of 13.18 per cent over revised estimates of Rs 90,412.59 crore for 2016-17.

The minister said no new taxes had been proposed in the budget and new change has been made in the present rates of taxes under the Haryana Value Added Tax (HVAT) Act, 2003.

He said the GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product), which is estimated to have logged a growth rate of 8.7 per cent in 2016-17, was poised to touch 9 per cent growth in 2017-18.

“Haryana has made significant strides in all key parameters that constitute the economic and fiscal space. Be it GSDP growth; per capita income; fiscal deficit; debt-to-GSDP ratio; or total revenue as a ratio of GSDP, things have improved,” he said.

“Significantly, the economy has also reversed the increasing trend both in revenue and fiscal deficit witnessed during the previous regime,” said the minister.

He said it was the first time that the budget had crossed the figure of one lakh crore, excluding foodgrain procurement operations.

The budget outlay of Rs 1,02,329.35 crore comprises 21.88 per cent as capital expenditure and 78.12 per cent as revenue expenditure.

Referring to the growth in per capita income (PCI), he said the PCI growth rate was 4 per cent in 2014-15, as compared to the all-India figure of 5.8 per cent.

The PCI growth rebounded to 7.5 per cent in 2015-16 against the national figure of 6.6 per cent, he said.

“The primary sector (agriculture and allied sectors), which registered negative growth of 2 per cent in 2014-15, recorded a growth rate of 3.2 per cent in 2015-16. In 2016-17, it is estimated to log a growth rate of 7 per cent.

“Similarly, the secondary sector (industry) had shown a robust growth of 7.7 per cent in 2015-16 against only 2.3 per cent in 2014-15. The tertiary (services) sector has shown an impressive growth rate of 10.9 per cent in 2015-16 as compared to 10.3 per cent in 2014-15,” he said.

Abhimanyu said the present government, by following prudent fiscal management policies, had been able to reverse the increasing trend in deficit parameters.

“In 2014-15, the revenue deficit, which was 1.90 per cent of GSDP, had declined to 1.6 per cent in 2015-16, and in 2016-17, it is likely to be 1.33 per cent. For 2017-18, I have targeted to bring it further down to less than one per cent and by the end of 2019-20, my target is to bring it down to zero.”

The minister said fiscal deficit has remained within the stipulated limit of 3 per cent of GSDP, as prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission for states. In 2016-17, it is expected to be 2.49 per cent of GSDP, he said.

“Haryana has also decided to dispense with the Plan and Non-Plan classification of expenditure and present the budget in terms of revenue and capital classification, which would give holistic view of sectoral allocations, leading to optimal allocation of resources to departments.”

The new budget has proposed schemes for development of villages by providing facilities at par with urban areas.

“It has been decided that all government payments of more than Rs 5,000 should be made through digital mode only. Five per cent rebate will be given on bill payments to utilities and other government payments through BHIM App, subject to a maximum of Rs 50,” the minister announced.

Being an agricultural state, the new budget has proposed an allocation of Rs 3,206.01 crore for agriculture

Congress leader Kuldeep Sharma dismissed the budget as directionless and said it will only contribute to inflation.

–IANS

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