In the first budget by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana, Finance Minister Abhimanyu on Tuesday proposed no new taxes. He said there would be no upward revision of existing taxes as well.
"There is no move to impose any new taxes or to increase the existing taxes," the minister told the state assembly.He said the state government will bring in efficiency in collection of existing taxes and plug loopholes."The budget is an effort to channelise financial resources as per stated priorities," said Abhimanyu, who recently completed a three-year management course from Harvard Business School and took a three-week leave last month just before his maiden budget to complete the course.This was the first budget of the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in the state which came to power riding a clear mandate in the assembly elections in October last year.
The minister proposed to remove VAT (value added tax) on bio-fertilizers to promote environment and soil health. He also announced reduction in VAT on LED lights, pipe-fittings and prefabricated steel structures to 5 percent to encourage their use."I am certain that in spite of these concessions, we will have buoyancy in our tax receipts next year because of the simplified administration and better compliance," Abhimanyu said, adding that the government has set its sight on double-digit growth in the next two years.He vowed to accelerate the pace of development, take giant steps towards prosperity by addressing grey areas and correcting the imbalances that had come to pockmark the state.
"We want development to reach all corners of the state and not lopsided development as was prevalent in the earlier governments," he said.The budget shows a fiscal deficit of Rs.16,423.58 crore and a revenue deficit of Rs.9,557.52 crore.While Rs.17,060.56 crore will be spent on salaries of government employees, Rs.5,900 crore will be consumed by pensions and Rs.8,563.75 crore by interest payments."With thrust on social sector, capital expenditure and development of infrastructure, the budget proposals lend priority to skill development, job creation and putting an end to the disparities among social groups and regions," the finance minister said.The minister announced hike in allocations to all key sectors such as social welfare, agriculture, cooperation, power, roads and transport, education, health and others.To give infrastructure a decisive push, the finance minister allocated Rs.17,331.08 crore, including plan outlay of Rs.5,793.65 crore to the economic infrastructure sector.