ITANAGAR, March 28 � Arunachal Assembly yesterday approved the Rs 218.05 crore deficit budget for the financial year 2012-13 after a five-hour long discussion. The Budget did not impose any new tax nor did it propose any hike in existing taxes.
Participating in the budget discussion, Finance Minister Chowna Mein said that the budget is growth-oriented that would cover all sectors and benefit all sections, particularly the youth through self-employment generation.
TMC MLA Laeta Umbrey stressed on checking tax evasion and corruption by setting an example of submission of assets/properties� list to the government by the MLAs and Ministers. �Let the ray of hope emanate from the eastern most State of the country,� he said.
When Umbrey pointed out people�s woes on �double taxation�, the Finance Minister informed the House that tax deduction at source (TDS) will be introduced in order to prevent revenue leakage.
Describing the budget as pro-people, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki appealed to the people to work together for peace and prosperity. �I want to see Arunachal a crime-free and most developed State in the country. It is the responsibility of every one of us to ensure peace and help the State to become self-sufficient.�
However, BJP MLA Tamiyo Taga termed the budget as �a wasteful annual exercise� with 100 per cent dependence on the Centre for funding. Why the State Government does not impose property tax and take bold step to check tax evasion, he asked. Addressing the media persons yesterday, BJP national general secretary Tapir Gao criticised the budget as an eye-wash and misleading.
The budget did not take any major step to enhance the revenue and develop priority sectors like health and infrastructure in the State, Gao said. The BJP leader said �no democratically elected Government in the world can achieve its targeted development unless it finds ways and means for own source of revenue. We have to chalk out strategy to enhance revenue of the State instead of approaching the Centre with begging bowl every now and then.�
Claiming that this year�s budget was nothing but reflection of budget proposals of the previous year, the BJP demanded imposition of minimum property tax and service tax in order to enrich the State�s coffer. The ruling Congress Government had proposed to install CCTV in all check gates of the State to check revenue leakage, but the proposal is yet to be implemented properly in all the districts, Gao claimed.
The BJP also demanded exploiting of abundant natural resources of the State in a planned manner and strict monitoring of the Centrally sponsored schemes in the State.