Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa during the pre-budget consultation meeting of the union Finance Minister at New Delhi on 26-12-2014. During the meeting the Finance Minister Government of India should establish a large scale unit in the state as state has been no investment in large public sector undertaking except Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. Finance Minister requested Government of India to incentivize the cultivation of the alternate crops like maize and basmati to ensure persification in agriculture. He also requested Government of India to fix MSP for basmati as has been done for Maize crop and to put in place efficient marketing mechanism for procurement of these crops through a designated agency.
Finance Minister said that to improve the productivity of pulses and soya bean in the State, a Regional Centre of ICAR for research in these crops should be established in the State and assured marking for alternate crops should be created. Finance Minister requested Government of India to declare allied agricultural activities like dairy, poultry, piggery, goatry & fishery etc. at par with agriculture for benefits like exemption of Income Tax, interest rate etc. The import of machinery for dairy farming, poultry farming and machinery relating to fodder should be exempted from custom duty.
Finance Minister requested Government of India that before converting the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance dated 21.10.2014 into legislation in the coming winter session of Parliament, this Ordinance should be amended so that additional levy of 295 per MT in case of PSPCL is not levied and PSPCL can participate in re-allocation/allotment of coal mines, which is vital for sustained generation at thermal power stations of PSPCL.The Finance Minister requested the Government of India to provide 100 crore for interventions to check the increasing menace of drug abuse in the state.Cancer has become a major public health concern in the state of Punjab requiring establishment of state of art oncology centers and up-gradation of existing departments in Medical colleges. Finance Minister requested the Government of India to provide a grant of 100 crore to check the cancer penetration in the State of Punjab.Finance Minister requested the Government of India to immediately release CST compensation of 1266.96 crore for the year 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. For 2013-14 the claim should be settled in April, 2015 and for this adequate provision should be made in the Union Budget.
The Finance Minister supported early introduction of GST. However, the revenue loss for Punjab due to subsumption of Purchase tax in the proposed GST on food grains and State cesses and Surcharges in so far as they relate to supply of goods and services is 4244 crore in 2013-14 which is likely to increase to 4730 crore in 2014-15. Besides this the revenue loss for Punjab due to subsumption of Octroi/entry tax and State cesses is 2547 crore in 2013-14 which is likely to increase to 2765 crore in 2014-15. The revenue losses for Punjab due to subsumption of Purchase tax and State cesses and Surcharges in so far as they relate to supply of goods and services are both continuous and permanent in nature and, hence, the compensatory mechanism for 5 years is grossly inadequate. The State Government should be compensated for a period of at least 15 years and not merely 5 years after the implementation of GST. The Finance Minister requested Government of India that NABARD should reduce the rate of interest on re-finance of short term loans from 4.5% to 2.5%.Finance Minister said that there was no income tax on the Cooperative Banks till 2005-06.
However these banks are required to pay income tax w.e.f. 2006-07. The Cooperative Banks limit their activities to agricultural loans especially to small and marginal farmers and therefore these should be exempted from the payment of income tax.The District Central Cooperative Banks from their own resources give loans at 5% rate of interest to Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies which in turn advance short term loans at 7% interest. Government of India provides interest subvention on the loans advanced by Co-Operative Banks out of their own resources which has come down from 3% in the year 2008-09 to 2% in the year 2010-11.
The Finance Minister requested the Government of India to increase the interest subvention to 4% and to link it to rate of interest on refinance. During militancy period of 1980 to 1995, a special term loan of 5,800 crore was given to Punjab for incurring security expenditure. The state government had made interest payment to the extent of 1,923 crore and principal payment to the extent of 771 crore. The balance amount of 5,029 crore was waived off in 2007. However, the state was not compensated for the amount it had repaid earlier to the extent of 2,694 crore. The state should be given a special grant to the extent of 2,694 crore in lieu of its payment for the aforementioned loan. The Union Home Ministry has asked the State Government to reimburse 298 crore for deployment of Para-Military forces in the State. This amount should be waived off. To tide over immediate financial problem of the State, Government of India should provide non-plan grant of 5,000 crore in 2015-16. To waive off the Outstanding Central Government Debt to the extent of 3,332 crore.