AGARTALA: Tripura Finance Minister Bhanu Lal Saha today presented a tax free deficit budget of Rs 15,956.56 crore for 2017-2018.
According to estimates presented in the budget the state government will have receipts of Rs 15,758.56 crore while the expenditure will be Rs 15,956.56 crore, leaving an uncovered deficit of Rs 198 crore.
"There will be a budget deficit of Rs 198 crore which I intend to cover by means of better tax compliance, austerity measures and additional resource mobilization," Saha said.
However, the budget has set aside Rs 600 crore for benefits to employees and pensioners though it may not be at par with the recommendations of the 7th cental pay commission.
As shown in budget figures, state's own resources will form only 11.05 per cent of the receipts while a whopping 33.33 per cent will come from centrally sponsored schemes and special central assistance.
The state's share of central taxes will comprise 28.56 per cent. The state will incur 41.94 per cent of expenses on the twin heads of salary and pension while another 11.24 per cent will go to make interest payment and loan repayment.
The major priorities of expenditure are in education - which is 21.23 per cent of the receipts, in public works which is 11.51 per cent. For rural development it is 9.96 per cent, agriculture it is 5.37 per cent and in health sector it is 4.85 per cent.
Saha said MLALAD has been increased by Rs 5 lakh lakhs per MLA per year from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 35 lakh per year and subsidy for the unemployed youths under 'Swabalamban' has been increased from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh per beneficiary.
Five new pension schemes will be introduced for folk artistes, carpenters, blacksmiths, potters and harijans at the rate of Rs 700 per month and the total number of beneficiaries would be 9000.
Subsidy on oil and pulses in ration shops has been increased by Rs 15 per month per card from Rs 50 to Rs 65, he said.