Haryana budget proposes amnesty scheme for victims of Jat reservation agitation

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Expressing concern for the victims of the recent reservation agitation, the Finance Minister has introduced an amnesty scheme, granting relief in respect of tax, interest, penalty and other dues to the affected registered dealers whose goods were lost or destroyed. This was announced by Haryana Finance Minister, Capt Abhimanyu while presenting the Haryana budget on Monday.

No fresh taxes have been proposed in the Haryana Budget for 2016-17 which proposes a host of concessions to give infrastructure a leg-up, boost manufacturing and job creation, both in urban and rural areas, hikes allocations to key sectors and outlines some first-time measures to ensure transparency and keep a tight leash on fiscal and financial management.

Presenting his second Budget in the Golden Jubilee Year of the state to the Vidhan Sabha, the Haryana Finance Minister, Capt Abhimanyu, promised for “Sabka Sath-Sabka Vikas” stating it to be the commitment of the government to realise the vision of balanced, equitable and accelerated growth of all sections of State, irrespective of caste, creed or community and geographical locations.

Capt Abhimanyu has proposed to cut tax on footwear, having MRP of above Rs 500, from 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent and exempt shoe uppers from VAT to encourage setting up of more footwear industries in the state.

In order to encourage agro-based industries, tax exemption has been proposed on ‘Khal’, ‘Binola’, ‘Besan’ and cotton yarn manufactured in the state. Tax on Vermicelli (Sewian) has also been lowered from 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent to give incentive to industries, which use farm produce of the state for manufacturing.

With a view to promoting clean environment, Capt Abhimanyu has proposed to reduce tax from 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent on the sale of electric vehicles.

Haryana Finance Minister, Captain Abhimanyu on his way to Vidhan Sabha to present Budget for the Year 2016-17

Haryana Finance Minister, Captain Abhimanyu on his way to Vidhan Sabha to present Budget for the Year 2016-17

In order to encourage the customers to obtain bills / invoices for goods purchased, the government proposes to introduce “Submit Bill, Get Prize Scheme”. This will enhance compliance on the part of sellers / dealers and bring more revenue to the state exchequer.

Riding the crest of better revenue realizations, Capt Abhimanyu has chosen to tread the path of fiscal prudence. In Budget Estimates 2015-16, fiscal deficit was estimated at 3.1 per cent of GSDP and 2.58 per cent (without UDAY) in RE 2015-16. With initiatives taken for fiscal consolidation, fiscal deficit has been pegged at 2.47 per cent of GSDP (without UDAY) in 2016-17. This is well within the stipulated limit of 3 per cent of GSDP by the 14th Finance Commission.

Capt Abhimanyu said that there has been a jump in state’s own taxes as a percentage of the GSDP from 6.3 per cent in 2014-15 to 6.9 per cent in 2015-16.

“More impressive is the fact that this ratio has been showing a declining trend from 2011-12 onwards for four years before this turnaround in 2015-16. In 2016-17, I expect this ratio to be around the same level”, he added.

Under Revised Estimates 2015-16, the total revenue receipts (TRR) are expected to be Rs 54,167.35 crore comprising tax revenue of Rs 40,436.10 crore and non-tax revenue of Rs 13,731.25 crore.  TRR as ratio of GSDP is estimated at 10.7 per cent in 2015-16 RE, against 9.2 per cent in 2014-15.

In Budget Estimates 2016-17, TRR are projected at Rs 62,955.53 crore, of which tax revenue is Rs. 46,388.31 crore and non-tax revenue is Rs 16,567.22 crore. TRR as ratio of GSDP is projected at 10.7 per cent in 2016-17.

“At the time of presentation of the Budget estimates 2015-16 some of my friends from the Opposition had raised certain doubts about the fructification of some of the revenue projections. I am happy to report in this august House that with the help of entrepreneurship and hard work of the people of the state of Haryana, continuous efforts of the officers and employees of the departments concerned, computerisation, increased transparency and accountability, regular and continuous monitoring and follow up, higher collection efficiency and checking evasion of leakages of resources we have met the targets that we assigned upon ourselves for revenue collection”, Capt Abhimanyu said.

Though no fresh taxes have been proposed, allocations for most key sectors have been upped. While Agriculture and Allied Sectors (including irrigation, cooperation and rural electrification subsidy) gets Rs 13,494 crore in 2016-17, Rural Development and Panchayats have been allocated Rs 2,824.47 crore. Rs 14,305.34 crore has been proposed for Education Sector (comprising Elementary, Secondary, Higher, Technical Education, Industrial Training, sports, Art and culture), Rs 3916.94 crore for health and family welfare, Rs. 828.80 crore for development of Industries and Minerals, Rs 6,189.87 crore for social welfare, nutrition, and welfare of SCs and BCs, Rs 1,6826.70 crore for Power sector, Rs 3108.37 crore for PHE, Rs 3,645.86 crore for Urban Development and Rs 400.00 crore for District Plan. For transport sector, an allocation of Rs 2464 crore and building and roads sector Rs 4485.11 crore have been proposed.

The Finance Minister has specifically earmarked a plan outlay of Rs 6373.48 crore, 20.3 per cent of the total plan outlay, for the welfare of Schedule Castes under SCSP component in 2016-17.

The total budget as per BE 2015-16 of Rs.69140 crore is proposed to be  increased by 28.4 per cent over last year to Rs 88,781.96 crore in 2016-17. It comprises Plan expenditure of Rs 40,256.21 crore (45.3 per cent) and Rs 48,525.75 crore (54.7 per cent) as Non-Plan expenditure. The overall estimates have been placed in two categories, viz., with UDAY and without UDAY, as is the practice followed by most of other states for simpler understandings and comparative analysis.

“The budget is directed towards the creation of more jobs in the agriculture and enterprises sectors. It is directed towards giving due importance to both these sectors to reduce the rural distress and to ensure adequate job creation in the private sector to meet with the expectations of the youth and also to reap the demographic benefit of the state, Capt Abhimanyu concluded.

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