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Gogoi tables Rs 3464-cr deficit Budget

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 15 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today presented in the State Assembly a deficit Budget of Rs 3464.46 crore for the 2010-11 financial year of the State. He expressed the hope that the State would be able to attain a growth rate of around nine per cent during the financial year. In his Budget speech, Gogoi has proposed to remove entry taxes on sugar, fish, eggs and tea, and to reduce entertainment tax on cinema hall tickets, VAT on medical equipment, pressure cooker, steel and brass utensils, cooked food items, block boards and decorative plywood, fresh turmeric etc.

He also announced the decision to continue with the deduction of Agriculture Income Tax of Rs 5 for every kilogram of tea exported through the Amingaon Inland Container Depot (ICD).

The closing deficit of the Budget would have been Rs 9964.46 crore at the end of the financial year when the estimated deficit of Rs 6503.99 crore is clubbed with the opening deficit of Rs 3460.47 crore.

However, with the proposal to utilize an amount of Rs 6,500 crore during the year from the State�s deposits with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the overall deficit has been reduced to Rs 3464.46 crore, said the Chief Minister in his Budget speech. The total receipts of the State have been estimated at Rs 122035.12 crore against the total expenditure of Rs 128539.11 crore.

Thrust area: The Chief Minister said that the main thrust area of his growth strategy is all round development of the rural areas with special thrust on agriculture and co-operation. Unless the rural economy improves, impressive Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth rates may be meaningless.

Similarly, it is very important to have equitable distribution of the fruits of development. Growth in per capita income along may not reveal the reality. Per capita income has to be read together with the inequality factor. High level of per capita income with low level of inequality will only bring greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, he said.

�In this Budget, I have given highest priority to building of physical infrastructure, institutions, skill development, employment generation and all-round welfare of the weaker section of the society,� he said.

However, he maintained that it would not be possible to wipe out the development deficit of the past so many decades overnight. One or two Budgets are not enough. It requires persistent and steady efforts.

Tax proposals: Though the Budget speech has made no specific mention of the new taxes proposed for the financial year, it has proposed to remove the existing entry tax of one percent on sugar and four percent on fish and eggs. The existing entry tax of four percent on textile has also been proposed to be reduced to two percent, which is followed by a proposal to removal of the existing entry tax of four percent on tea.

The Chief Minister justified these proposals with the arguments that the removal of the entry tax on sugar and fish would provide relief to the people during this time of spiraling prices of essential items, while the reduction of entry tax on textile items has been proposed in the wake of a representation made by the textile traders and manufacturers.

As a measure to support the revival process of the cinema halls, the Chief Minister proposed reduction of the rate of entertainment tax from 30 percent to 15 percent up to the admission fees of Rs 20 and from 50 percent to 20 percent on the admission fees of more than Rs 20. He has also proposed reduction in VAT on X Ray films and other �diagnostic films� to five percent Similarly reduction on VAT on pressure cookers, steel and brass utensils has also been proposed from existing 13.5 percent to 5 percent.

In order to encourage tourism and labour intensive hotel and catering business, he has proposed reduction of VAT on cooked food items from 13.5 percent to 5 percent. To encourage tourism and infrastructure development, he has also proposed reduction in the VAT rate on leased transactions from 13.5 percent to five percent. He also proposed reduction in the VAT rate on block board and decorative plywood from 13.5 percent to five percent. In order to encourage cultivation of turmeric, he proposed exemption of fresh turmeric from VAT. The existing rate of VAT on turmeric was five percent, besides, proposing a scheme to refund the VAT amounts paid by the manufacturers of traditional indigenous fire works.

In order to provide relief to small businesses, he has proposed increase in the limit of annual turnover from existing Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh for submission of monthly returns under the Assam VAT Act , 2003.

State finances: The per capita net state domestic product for 2009-10 has been estimated to increase to Rs 17080 at constant (1999-2000) prices and Rs 26242 at current prices. The State economy (GSDP at 1999-2000 constant prices) has been growing at an annual rate of 5.08 percent during the last ten years, he said.

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Gogoi tables Rs 3464-cr deficit Budget

GUWAHATI, March 15 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today presented in the State Assembly a deficit Budget of Rs 3464.46 crore for the 2010-11 financial year of the State. He expressed the hope that the State would be able to attain a growth rate of around nine per cent during the financial year. In his Budget speech, Gogoi has proposed to remove entry taxes on sugar, fish, eggs and tea, and to reduce entertainment tax on cinema hall tickets, VAT on medical equipment, pressure cooker, steel and brass utensils, cooked food items, block boards and decorative plywood, fresh turmeric etc.

He also announced the decision to continue with the deduction of Agriculture Income Tax of Rs 5 for every kilogram of tea exported through the Amingaon Inland Container Depot (ICD).

The closing deficit of the Budget would have been Rs 9964.46 crore at the end of the financial year when the estimated deficit of Rs 6503.99 crore is clubbed with the opening deficit of Rs 3460.47 crore.

However, with the proposal to utilize an amount of Rs 6,500 crore during the year from the State�s deposits with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the overall deficit has been reduced to Rs 3464.46 crore, said the Chief Minister in his Budget speech. The total receipts of the State have been estimated at Rs 122035.12 crore against the total expenditure of Rs 128539.11 crore.

Thrust area: The Chief Minister said that the main thrust area of his growth strategy is all round development of the rural areas with special thrust on agriculture and co-operation. Unless the rural economy improves, impressive Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth rates may be meaningless.

Similarly, it is very important to have equitable distribution of the fruits of development. Growth in per capita income along may not reveal the reality. Per capita income has to be read together with the inequality factor. High level of per capita income with low level of inequality will only bring greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, he said.

�In this Budget, I have given highest priority to building of physical infrastructure, institutions, skill development, employment generation and all-round welfare of the weaker section of the society,� he said.

However, he maintained that it would not be possible to wipe out the development deficit of the past so many decades overnight. One or two Budgets are not enough. It requires persistent and steady efforts.

Tax proposals: Though the Budget speech has made no specific mention of the new taxes proposed for the financial year, it has proposed to remove the existing entry tax of one percent on sugar and four percent on fish and eggs. The existing entry tax of four percent on textile has also been proposed to be reduced to two percent, which is followed by a proposal to removal of the existing entry tax of four percent on tea.

The Chief Minister justified these proposals with the arguments that the removal of the entry tax on sugar and fish would provide relief to the people during this time of spiraling prices of essential items, while the reduction of entry tax on textile items has been proposed in the wake of a representation made by the textile traders and manufacturers.

As a measure to support the revival process of the cinema halls, the Chief Minister proposed reduction of the rate of entertainment tax from 30 percent to 15 percent up to the admission fees of Rs 20 and from 50 percent to 20 percent on the admission fees of more than Rs 20. He has also proposed reduction in VAT on X Ray films and other �diagnostic films� to five percent Similarly reduction on VAT on pressure cookers, steel and brass utensils has also been proposed from existing 13.5 percent to 5 percent.

In order to encourage tourism and labour intensive hotel and catering business, he has proposed reduction of VAT on cooked food items from 13.5 percent to 5 percent. To encourage tourism and infrastructure development, he has also proposed reduction in the VAT rate on leased transactions from 13.5 percent to five percent. He also proposed reduction in the VAT rate on block board and decorative plywood from 13.5 percent to five percent. In order to encourage cultivation of turmeric, he proposed exemption of fresh turmeric from VAT. The existing rate of VAT on turmeric was five percent, besides, proposing a scheme to refund the VAT amounts paid by the manufacturers of traditional indigenous fire works.

In order to provide relief to small businesses, he has proposed increase in the limit of annual turnover from existing Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh for submission of monthly returns under the Assam VAT Act , 2003.

State finances: The per capita net state domestic product for 2009-10 has been estimated to increase to Rs 17080 at constant (1999-2000) prices and Rs 26242 at current prices. The State economy (GSDP at 1999-2000 constant prices) has been growing at an annual rate of 5.08 percent during the last ten years, he said.