KOCHI: The Budget has envisaged a slew of measures to generate revenue. The government is all set to increase the sales tax on alcohol.
Tax on IMFL has been slightly increased, while that of beer has been made 100 per cent. In a curious move, Finance Minister Thomas Isaac announced the decision of Bevco to enter into the marketing of foreign-made foreign liquor. The new tax on alcohol is expected to bring an additional revenue of `60 crore.
Those who tried to dodge tax by registering their vehicles in Puducherry can escape action by paying tax during the amnesty period. The state expects a revenue mop up of `100 crore. Fair value of land has been raised by 10 per cent, while land tax has been hiked. Revision in stamp duty is expected to bring in additional revenue of `25 crore.
Last year, Isaac had already taken anticipatory bail with his portrayal of the alarming state of finances. So, major austerity measures were a given in this year’s Budget. Determined to implement financial discipline, there are stringent measures to cut non-plan expenditure.As an initial step, restrictions have been imposed on the creation of new posts. They will be created only after much deliberation even as efforts will be made to meet demand through redeployment. The government has put a tab on sanctioning new grant-in-aid establishments, in addition to proposing performance audit of existing ones.
Urging departments to restrain from going for luxury vehicles, Isaac suggested the use of rented vehicles, which will bring down the cost by one-third. Sanction to buy own vehicles has been curtailed to department heads, police, legal agencies and local body chiefs. The finance minister also wants to cut down additional expense on foreign trips as well as landline and mobile phone bills.
Budget Estimate for 2018-19
Revenue receipts E1,02,801.24 cr
Revenue expenditure E1,15,661.05 cr
Revenue deficit (-)E12,859.81 cr
Capital expenditure (Net) (-)E10,292.29 cr
Loans and advances (Net) (-)E804.96 cr
Public debt (Net) E22,288.87 cr
Overall deficit (-)E75.66 cr
Additional resource mobilisation E970.40 cr