GUWAHATI, March 10 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the Finance Portfolio, today presented a Rs 265.32-crore deficit Budget for the financial year 2015-16 in the State Assembly. Though he has not proposed any major tax for the financial year, tax on registration of old vehicles, annual motor vehicle tax, tax on vehicles carrying petroleum products and hazardous goods, permit fee of motor vehicles, royalty on mines and minerals, fees and taxes on liquor, VAT on private sale of tea, cess on cigarettes, among others have been enhanced. Meanwhile, he also proposed export benefits on tea, reduced rate of VAT on jewellery items, besides exempting woman artisans� products from VAT.
As per the Budget estimates placed by the Chief Minister, the aggregate receipt of the government for the year is estimated to be Rs 2,50,292.25 crore, against which, the total expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs 2,48,682.47 crore. Together with the opening deficit of Rs 1875.10 crore, the closing deficit for the year is estimated to be Rs 265.32 crore.
The Chief Minister has proposed to collect an additional amount of Rs 350 crore through resource mobilisation by strengthening the tax administration and widening the tax net. No proposal has been made to tax the common man, he said. Additional revenues would be mobilised also by increasing taxes on motor vehicles, which were not increased since 2011. Additional resources to the tune of Rs 100 crore will be generated through this.
In his Budget speech, Gogoi said an additional amount of Rs 600 crore is sought to be gathered through taxes on alcohol and liquor, by increasing various licence fees and introducing application fees. However, he proposed reduction of export fees on IMFL from Rs 50 per case to Rs 5. He estimated that collection from excise revenue would increase from Rs 650 crore to Rs 1,250 crore.
Gogoi proposed to increase the rate of tax on the high-end pre-owned cars of above 1000 cc from the current rate of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. One-time tax on all new four-wheeler vehicles, which cost up to Rs 12 lakh, is proposed to be raised by just one per cent from the existing rates and by 1.50 per cent over the existing rates for vehicles costing between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 15 lakh. He has also proposed an increase in one-time tax by two per cent for vehicles that cost between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, by four per cent for vehicles costing between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 30 lakh and by six per cent for those which cost above Rs 30 lakh.
The Chief Minister has proposed to cover the vehicles above 10 years and up to 15 years old with one-time tax after allowing them a depreciation of 12 per cent per annum. He also proposed to increase the annual motor vehicle tax on commercial vehicles with passenger carrying capacity of more than 30 persons from the existing Rs 12,000 at the rate of Rs 110 for every additional seat above 30 up to Rs 14,400. He proposed enhancement of annual motor vehicle tax from Rs 15,000 to Rs 18,000 for deluxe super express buses from Rs 12,000 at the rate of Rs 120 per seat above 31 to Rs 14,400. The All Assam Super Delux Contract carriage vehicles will be charged an additional amount of Rs 145 for every seat above 31 from Rs 50,000 to Rs 55,000.
Gogoi proposed to increase the annual tax on vehicles engaged in carrying petroleum products including LPG and CNG as well as hazardous goods to Rs 12,000 from the existing Rs 10,000 for vehicles carrying less than nine MT of load. The rate for those carrying over nine MT and up to 12 MT, would be raised to Rs 14,400 from the existing Rs 12,000, while for the vehicles carrying 12 MT and above, the rate will be increased to Rs 16,500 plus Rs 500 for every additional MT from the existing Rs 14,000 plus Rs 450.
By raising the permit fees of vehicles, the Chief Minister has proposed mobilisation of revenue of Rs 15 crore from different categories of permits excluding the ASTC-owned vehicles.
The Chief Minister has proposed to raise revenue collection to Rs 100 crore from the existing Rs 42 crore per annum on royalty on minor minerals. He also proposed imposition of levy of Rs 500 per truck (of nine tonne capacity ) on the coal carrying transit vehicles entering Assam from other states and leaving Assam for other states.
On the other hand, Gogoi proposed to reduce VAT on jewellery items from one per cent to 0.5 per cent and to exempt embroidery or jari, chumki, beads etc., glass bangles and saree (not costing more than Rs 500 piece) from VAT. He also proposed exemption of VAT on all writing instruments, which cost less than Rs 10, school bags not exceeding Rs 250 per piece, HDPE cocoon crate, HDPE mountage with frame, HDPE plastic cocoon harvesting box and HDPE rearing trays for silk worms.
He further proposed exemption of VAT on Dernier scale weighing range- natural silk, cancer drugs, medicinal oxygen, etc. He also proposed exemption of entry tax on vehicles supplied by the Centre to the state for implementation of schemes.
The Chief Minister has reaffirmed the determination by the State Government to deal with black marketeers and Government officials facilitating such elements with a very firm hand. He said that the Government would come up with an Act very soon to confiscate the properties of such officials who have amassed personal wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income. On top of this, he said, the Government would ask its officials to upload the photographs of their own residential houses on the websites, which would act as a deterrent for those involved in corrupt practices at the cost of the State exchequer.