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Gogoi tables Rs 1,352-cr deficit Budget

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, March 11 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the Finance Portfolio, today presented a Rs 1352.57-crore deficit Budget for the State for the year 2013-14 and reduced taxes on registration fees and stamp duty on transfer of property, gur, stone chips and boulder, CFL bulb, generator set, plastic, etc. He also proposed to increase tax on cigarettes, brick fields, marble, granite and decorative slabs, clinker, sweetmeat and cooked food, etc, and laid a plan to bring online shopping under the tax net.

In his Budget speech, the Chief Minister said that of the total receipts, the State taxes would be the major contributor with Rs 8,983.77 crore, while the non-tax revenue would be Rs 3,400.33 crore. The State� share from the Central taxes would be Rs 12,620.75 crore. Of the expenditure, Rs 38,183.80 crore would be revenue expenditure, Rs 23,292.18 crore would be spent on payment of salaries and wages and Rs 3,136.72 crore would be spent on pension.

Giving details of the tax proposals for the coming financial year, the Chief Minister admitted that as compared to other States, the rate of registration fees and stamp duty on transfer of property in Assam is very high. That is why he proposed to reduce the registration fees and stamp duty from 13.5 per cent to three per cent in case of women and from 14.5 per cent to five per cent in case of men.

Gogoi said that as gur is widely consumed in the State, particularly in the rural areas, he proposed to exempt the item from the tax net. In order to give some relief to the marginal dealers, he proposed to increase the exemption limit of value added tax from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

To encourage infrastructure development and construction sector, he proposed to reduce the rate of tax on stone chips and boulders from 13.5 percent to five percent. To encourage reduction of power consumption, he proposed to reduce the tax on CFL bulb from 13.5 per cent to five per cent and he said that the rate of tax on generator sets would be reduced from 13.5 per cent to five per cent. He further proposed to exempt electricity duty on generation of power through generator sets having capacity up to 25 KVA.

The Chief Minister proposed to reduce the entry tax on plastic from two to one per cent to boost plastic industries.

The concession given on tea exported through the inland container depot had a positive impact and he proposed to continue such deduction in the coming year, too, at the rate of Rs 6 per kilogram of tea exported through the depot.

To give boost to the tourism sector, Gogoi proposed to levy luxury tax on actual room tariff charged instead of the current practice of levying tax on published room tariff.

To discourage tobacco smoking, the Chief Minister proposed to increase the rate of tax on cigarette, bidi, cheroot, cigar and smoking mixture from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, while the entry tax on clinker would be raised from two percent to six per cent. He also proposed to hike entry tax on marble, granite and other decorative slabs from four per cent to six per cent. The same hike would be effected on sanitary wares, bathroom fittings, furniture, etc.

The tax levied on brick fields and dealers of marble, sweetmeat, cooked food, etc, will also be increased, while a composition scheme would be introduced on catering service to bring the sector under the tax net. He also proposed to introduce a special tax on sale of pre-owned commercial vehicles and to establish a mechanism to bring online shopping under the tax net.

Gogoi further said that the State is losing considerable amount of revenue due to the exemptions given in the industrial policy and proposed to set up a commission to carry out a cost benefit study in this regard.

Highlights

� As per population of 2011, the per capita debt and other liabilities of Assam is Rs 9359/- at the end of March, 2012-13, which is far below the all India average of Rs. 18,411/-.

� Main thrust areas will be generation of employment, health and education.

� Enhancement of MLA�s Local Area Development Fund from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1.00 crore from this year. Provision at this enhanced rate made for the next year also.

� Special development package for Barak Valley for Rs 1000 crore. P&D Department to submit proposal within 3 months.

� Rs.1105.52 crore earmarked for Externally Aided Projects. l Projects under AIFA to include the following:

(i) Improvement of police infrastructure including police housing (Rs 500 crore).

(ii) Acquisition of land for establishment of the Indian Institute of Information Technology near Guwahati. (Rs 30 crore).

(iii) Metro Rail project for Guwahati city (Rs 1800 crore).

(iv) Strengthening of embankments which are 30 years or older (Rs 600 crore).

(v) Sewerage project for Guwahati city (Rs 1400 crore).

(vi) Renovation of all High School and College buildings which are 50 years or more.

(vii) Reclamation of Silsako Beel and other water bodies in and around Guwahati city.

(viii) Protection and conservation of Deepar Beel

(xi) Beautification and development of Dighalipukhuri as a tourist spot

(xii) Restoration of Bharalu river

(xiii) Widening and upgradation of State highways and

major district roads which are not covered under

World Bank funded State Road Project or any other

existing scheme

(xiv) Improvement of infrastructure and other civic amenities in all districts and sub divisional Headquarters

(xv) Beautification of Brahmaputra river front in Guwahati and other towns of Assam (Rs.300 crore)for tourism promotion

(xvi) Construction of a road bridge over the river Brahmaputra from Narengi to Kuruwa with road link upto Dumuni Chowki (Rs. 1600 crore)

(xvii) Setting up of atleast 30 cold storages in different parts of Assam (Rs.150 crore)

(xviii) Creation of developed Land banks for setting up

industries and tourism facilities on cost recovery

basis

(xix) Setting up of satellite townships with developed infrastructure

(xx) Upgradation of the standard of higher education by improving the infrastructure in the State Universities and Colleges ( Rs. 1000 crore)

(xxi) A pilot project for reclamation of river bed of the Brahmaputra and its big tributaries

(xxii) Establishment of a �Mini Assam� tourism project (Rs.60 crore)

(xxi) Wireless connectivity covering all the towns and villages of the State ( Rs.295 crore)

� Setting up of 200 new bank branches during 2013-14.

� Disbursement target for MSMEs loans for 2013-14 fixed at Rs 3,800 crore, which is an increase of nearly 50% over 2012-13.

� No bank will insist on any collateral security for MSME loans up to Rs. 1 crore.

� Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to the farmers will be issued in a Mission Mode.

� Every household in the State to have a bank account.

� Introduction of Smart cards for cash transfers to beneficiaries of schemes like NREGA.

� Initiate steps to increase the number of Foreigner�s Tribunal.

� Sanction of 2000 civil police posts at various levels.

� Notification of The Assam Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012.

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Gogoi tables Rs 1,352-cr deficit Budget

GUWAHATI, March 11 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the Finance Portfolio, today presented a Rs 1352.57-crore deficit Budget for the State for the year 2013-14 and reduced taxes on registration fees and stamp duty on transfer of property, gur, stone chips and boulder, CFL bulb, generator set, plastic, etc. He also proposed to increase tax on cigarettes, brick fields, marble, granite and decorative slabs, clinker, sweetmeat and cooked food, etc, and laid a plan to bring online shopping under the tax net.

In his Budget speech, the Chief Minister said that of the total receipts, the State taxes would be the major contributor with Rs 8,983.77 crore, while the non-tax revenue would be Rs 3,400.33 crore. The State� share from the Central taxes would be Rs 12,620.75 crore. Of the expenditure, Rs 38,183.80 crore would be revenue expenditure, Rs 23,292.18 crore would be spent on payment of salaries and wages and Rs 3,136.72 crore would be spent on pension.

Giving details of the tax proposals for the coming financial year, the Chief Minister admitted that as compared to other States, the rate of registration fees and stamp duty on transfer of property in Assam is very high. That is why he proposed to reduce the registration fees and stamp duty from 13.5 per cent to three per cent in case of women and from 14.5 per cent to five per cent in case of men.

Gogoi said that as gur is widely consumed in the State, particularly in the rural areas, he proposed to exempt the item from the tax net. In order to give some relief to the marginal dealers, he proposed to increase the exemption limit of value added tax from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

To encourage infrastructure development and construction sector, he proposed to reduce the rate of tax on stone chips and boulders from 13.5 percent to five percent. To encourage reduction of power consumption, he proposed to reduce the tax on CFL bulb from 13.5 per cent to five per cent and he said that the rate of tax on generator sets would be reduced from 13.5 per cent to five per cent. He further proposed to exempt electricity duty on generation of power through generator sets having capacity up to 25 KVA.

The Chief Minister proposed to reduce the entry tax on plastic from two to one per cent to boost plastic industries.

The concession given on tea exported through the inland container depot had a positive impact and he proposed to continue such deduction in the coming year, too, at the rate of Rs 6 per kilogram of tea exported through the depot.

To give boost to the tourism sector, Gogoi proposed to levy luxury tax on actual room tariff charged instead of the current practice of levying tax on published room tariff.

To discourage tobacco smoking, the Chief Minister proposed to increase the rate of tax on cigarette, bidi, cheroot, cigar and smoking mixture from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, while the entry tax on clinker would be raised from two percent to six per cent. He also proposed to hike entry tax on marble, granite and other decorative slabs from four per cent to six per cent. The same hike would be effected on sanitary wares, bathroom fittings, furniture, etc.

The tax levied on brick fields and dealers of marble, sweetmeat, cooked food, etc, will also be increased, while a composition scheme would be introduced on catering service to bring the sector under the tax net. He also proposed to introduce a special tax on sale of pre-owned commercial vehicles and to establish a mechanism to bring online shopping under the tax net.

Gogoi further said that the State is losing considerable amount of revenue due to the exemptions given in the industrial policy and proposed to set up a commission to carry out a cost benefit study in this regard.

Highlights

� As per population of 2011, the per capita debt and other liabilities of Assam is Rs 9359/- at the end of March, 2012-13, which is far below the all India average of Rs. 18,411/-.

� Main thrust areas will be generation of employment, health and education.

� Enhancement of MLA�s Local Area Development Fund from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1.00 crore from this year. Provision at this enhanced rate made for the next year also.

� Special development package for Barak Valley for Rs 1000 crore. P&D Department to submit proposal within 3 months.

� Rs.1105.52 crore earmarked for Externally Aided Projects. l Projects under AIFA to include the following:

(i) Improvement of police infrastructure including police housing (Rs 500 crore).

(ii) Acquisition of land for establishment of the Indian Institute of Information Technology near Guwahati. (Rs 30 crore).

(iii) Metro Rail project for Guwahati city (Rs 1800 crore).

(iv) Strengthening of embankments which are 30 years or older (Rs 600 crore).

(v) Sewerage project for Guwahati city (Rs 1400 crore).

(vi) Renovation of all High School and College buildings which are 50 years or more.

(vii) Reclamation of Silsako Beel and other water bodies in and around Guwahati city.

(viii) Protection and conservation of Deepar Beel

(xi) Beautification and development of Dighalipukhuri as a tourist spot

(xii) Restoration of Bharalu river

(xiii) Widening and upgradation of State highways and

major district roads which are not covered under

World Bank funded State Road Project or any other

existing scheme

(xiv) Improvement of infrastructure and other civic amenities in all districts and sub divisional Headquarters

(xv) Beautification of Brahmaputra river front in Guwahati and other towns of Assam (Rs.300 crore)for tourism promotion

(xvi) Construction of a road bridge over the river Brahmaputra from Narengi to Kuruwa with road link upto Dumuni Chowki (Rs. 1600 crore)

(xvii) Setting up of atleast 30 cold storages in different parts of Assam (Rs.150 crore)

(xviii) Creation of developed Land banks for setting up

industries and tourism facilities on cost recovery

basis

(xix) Setting up of satellite townships with developed infrastructure

(xx) Upgradation of the standard of higher education by improving the infrastructure in the State Universities and Colleges ( Rs. 1000 crore)

(xxi) A pilot project for reclamation of river bed of the Brahmaputra and its big tributaries

(xxii) Establishment of a �Mini Assam� tourism project (Rs.60 crore)

(xxi) Wireless connectivity covering all the towns and villages of the State ( Rs.295 crore)

� Setting up of 200 new bank branches during 2013-14.

� Disbursement target for MSMEs loans for 2013-14 fixed at Rs 3,800 crore, which is an increase of nearly 50% over 2012-13.

� No bank will insist on any collateral security for MSME loans up to Rs. 1 crore.

� Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to the farmers will be issued in a Mission Mode.

� Every household in the State to have a bank account.

� Introduction of Smart cards for cash transfers to beneficiaries of schemes like NREGA.

� Initiate steps to increase the number of Foreigner�s Tribunal.

� Sanction of 2000 civil police posts at various levels.

� Notification of The Assam Victim Compensation Scheme, 2012.

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