CHANDIGARH: The State budget for 2017-18 was presented by finance minister Captain Abhimanyu Singh, without any proposal of new tax, in Haryana Assembly on Monday.
Presenting his third budget in Haryana’s Golden Jubilee year, he proposed a budget of Rs 1,02,329.35 crore, an increase of Rs 9,041.59 (13.18 per cent) over the last budget. This is the first time in the state that the budget has crossed the figure of one lakh crore, excluding food grain procurement operations. The budget outlay comprises 21.88 per cent as capital expenditure of Rs 22393.51crore and 78.12 per cent as revenue expenditure of Rs 79935.84 crore.
It was also proposed that all government payments of more than Rs 5000 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.
In order to provide seamless and expeditious health services to the serving and retired employees, government intends to explore the possibility of introducing “Cashless Health Insurance Scheme” for State employees and pensioners, Capt. Abhimanyu said.
A dedicated Asset Management Cell is being created in the Revenue Department to carry out asset mapping of the State resources and to prepare a register of all public assets.
A new scheme has been proposed in the name of late Choudhry Chhotu Ramji as “Deenbandhu Haryana Gram Uday Yojana” to develop about 1500 villages having population between 3,000 to 10,000 by providing necessary physical, social and economic infrastructure facilities on par with the urban areas, in a phased manner within three years, with an outlay of Rs 5000 crore. For 2017-18, Rs 1200 crore has been allocated for this scheme.
Another new scheme in the name of late Dr Mangal Sain, former deputy chief minister as “Mangal Nagar Vikas Yojana” has been proposed to create, maintain infrastructure in urban areas. An outlay of Rs 1000 crore has been allocated for this scheme in 2017-18.
The budget document stated that no change in the present rates of taxes under the Haryana Value Added Tax (HVAT) Act, 2003. The State government has decided to make bio diesel (B-100) and solar devices and parts used in installation of solar power projects tax-free by exempting them from the levy of VAT.
On the lines of the Union government’s initiative, Haryana has also decided to dispense 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. An attempt has also been made to classify the allocation of resources into rural and urban categories, wherever feasible, to have clearer view about the fund flow to priority areas, said Capt Abhimanyu.
For the next fiscal 2017-18, capital expenditure is proposed to double it to Rs 14932 crore, over RE 2016-17. In addition, capital expenditure to the tune of Rs 4725 crore is likely to be incurred by public sector units in 2017-18. Hence, total capital expenditure is estimated to be Rs 19657 crore in 2017-18.
Meanwhile, responding to a question raised by MLA Ravinder Macchrouli during ongoing budget session of State Assembly on Monday, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the government would start a new pension scheme similar to that of widows for the widowers, from next year.