CHANDIGARH: Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal on Saturday presented a deficit budget, focused on resource mobilization, proposed development tax named `Punjab Development Tax’ on all the Income Tax payees engaged in professions, trades, callings and employments as part of the government's additional resource mobilisation measures.
Presenting the annual budget for 2018-19, Manpreet said that a new Tax of Rs 200 per month to be levied from each tax payer. The government is expected to collect Rs 150 crore from this tax, as one will have to pay Rs 2,400 per year the modalities who one will pay this tax is yet to be worked out. As there are 37 lakh tax income tax payees in Punjab.
He cited examples of states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu where this tax collection is being made for a long time.
This is the second budget of the Congress Government, where the effort is clearly on fiscal consolidation and consolidation of the previous announcements, made by the government.
The total budget size is Rs 1,29,698 crore, though the effective budget size is of Rs 1,02,198 crore as the above figure contains a budget provision of Rs 2,7500 crore towards Ways and Means transactions for the current year. The total receipts are expected to be Rd 12, 2923 crore.
During the next fiscal, the state hopes to generate revenue receipts of Rs 73,812 crore, as it has kept a provision of additional resource mobilisation for Rs 1,500 crore. The state’s outstanding debt is estimated to rise to a whopping Rs 2,11,523 crore, up from Rs 1,95,978 crore, for the ongoing financial year.
It has been proposed that for debit relief scheme for farmers Rs 4,250 crore has been allocated and Rs 370 crore has been disbursed to 71, 166 farmers as relief. Also free power to farmers to be continued and for that Rs 6256 crore allocated. A special project of Rs 750 crore to improve the agricultural marketing has also been proposed. For the industry Rs 1440 crore to provide power at a variable cost of Rs 5 per unit to Industry.
On the social welfare front Rs 1235 crore allocated under various welfare schemes for Educational, Socio-Economic and other, to enhance the grant under the Ashirwad scheme to Rs 21,000 from Rs 15,000 for that a budget allocation of Rs 150 crore has been made and for Post Matric scholarship Rs 860 crore allocated.
The State Government will set-up Mahila Shakti Kendras, to provide interface for rural women to approach the government for availing their entitlements. Free text books to all students till Class XII in government schools, Rs 100 Crores earmarked for Swachh Bharat Mission.
Manpreet’s budget begins with famous Faiz Ahmad Faiz and ends with Allama Iqbal.
The opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out from the Punjab assembly as finance minister presented the budget. They termed the budget as directionless said that the Congress Government had failed to deliver on its promises, including a total loan waiver for farmers and jobs for youth.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal described that the budget had nothing to offer to any section of the state's people.
"The resource mobilization figures of Rs 9000 crores show that the government will break the back of Punjabis with a burden of fresh taxes of Rs 9000 crore," he said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh hailed the state’s Budget 2018-19 as a milestone one, with its focus on multi-sectoral growth, and expressed the confidence that it would put the state on the path of high growth.