CHENNAI: Among the key announcements were setting up of the State Development Policy Council to replace the State Planning Commission, Rs 300 crore allocation for the Kudimaramath scheme, launching generic drug stores, India International Skill Centres at Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy, a world-class Tamil Cultural Heritage Museum at World Tamil Sangam, Madurai, recruiting 10,500 people to the Tamil Nadu Special Police Youth Brigade, extending the Mission on Sustainable Dryland Agriculture to 10 lakh acres, allocation of Rs 369 crore to bring one lakh acres of land under micro irrigation with a focus on sugarcane and horticultural crops, forming Farmer Producer Organisations to promote collective farming for credit mobilisation etc., and allocation of Rs 75 crore to conduct the next Global Investors Meet.
Stating that the government would “leave no stone unturned to bring the State back on the path of fiscal consolidation and reverse the economic downtrend,” the Finance Minister said, “In the current year, the fiscal deficit will be Rs 61,341 crore, which is 4.58 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product. If the debt taken over from TANGEDCO by the government is excluded, the fiscal deficit in 2016-2017 would be Rs 38,526 crore, which will be 2.88 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP),” adding that the fiscal deficit breaching the norms during the current fiscal was only temporary due to TANGEDCO’s debt takeover and deficit would be addressed in 2017-18.
Referring to the Economic Survey, which projected the growth rate for 2017-18 between 6.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent, the Finance Minister said, “The pace of economic activity is picking up and it is expected that GSDP will grow at 7.94 per cent at constant prices during 2016-17. We expect that the concerted efforts of this government would further create a favourable environment for increased private and public investment in key sectors, thus boosting the economic growth to nine per cent during the year 2017-18.”
Despite an increase in revenue expenditure due to the additional commitment of the government towards interest payments under the UDAY scheme, free power up to 100 units for domestic consumers and cooperative loan waiver scheme, the revenue deficit in 2017-18 would be contained at the previous year’s level. The low economic growth, demonetisation and the ban on sale of property in unapproved layouts have dented the receipts from stamp duty and registration charges severely. Considering these factors, receipts from stamp duty and registration charges are expected to be Rs 8,220 crore during 2017-2018 as against Rs 7,985 crore estimated in revised estimates 2016-2017.