CHENNAI: The first budget of Tamil Nadu government, after implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, will be presented by Finance Minister O Panneerselvam for 2018-19 on Thursday.
Normally, people expect tax revisions and exemption from taxes for some commodities in the budget. But this year, since the GST Council is deciding the tax structure on all commodities, one cannot expect any tax revision or exemption.
So, describing a budget tax-free may be a misnomer hereafter. New development projects and welfare schemes will be the key aspects of the budget, it is pointed out.
The budget for 2017-18 was a tax-free, revenue deficit budget. Whether the revenue deficit will go up and the State government is able to contain it this year will be known in the budget for 2018-19. Further, Tamil Nadu government had already said the State had benefitted from GST, the Finance minister is most likely to spell out the exact quantum of monetary benefit.
After the AIADMK retained power in the May 2016 Assembly elections, Panneerselvam presented the revised budget for 2016-17 on July 21. After the death of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December, 2016, the party split into two and Panneerselvam resigned as Chief Minister. So, the budget for 2017-18 was presented by the then Finance Minister D Jayakumar on March 16 last. After the merger of two factions of AIADMK, finance portfolio was given to Panneerselvam.
Official sources said the budget session may be split with a gap of around 10 days. The discussion on the budget is expected to last four or five days. However, a final decision will be taken at the meeting of the business advisory committee of the House on Thursday. Also, the House is likely to have a special sitting on the Cauvery issue.