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Rs 1,193-cr deficit State Budget presented

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 6 - Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today presented a Rs 1,193.04 crore deficit budget for the State for the 2019-20 financial year and announced a host of new schemes for the benefit of cross sections of the society including students, Government employees, patients suffering from different critical diseases and asserted that the Budget is aimed at ensuring that the State climbs greater heights of development.

In his Budget speech in the State Assembly, the Finance Minister said that the Budget Estimates of 2019-20 show a receipt of Rs 98339.05 crore under the Consolidated Fund of the State. Out of this, Rs 83147.99 crore is on Revenue Account and the remaining Rs 15191.06 crore is under Capital Account.

Sarma in his Budget speech said, �In the last three years, we have built a strong foundation from which we now have to take off. This is not the time to hesitate! This is not the time to turn back the clock! This budget of 2019-20 is a budget of ascension, of lifting ourselves beyond the mundane and to stride onwards to a new dawn of development and progress in every sphere of our life�

Giving an account of the State�s financial health, the Finance Minister said that the present Government inherited a financial position where the budgets ballooned but its financing was forgotten. The Government inherited huge committed liabilities but failed to generate adequate resources. The internal revenue generation growth was only two per cent in 2015-16.The Government was totally dependent on borrowings and funds received from the Government of India, he said. He claimed that the Government managed to turn around the economic situation of the State and increased own revenue mobilization. Revenue mobilization efforts since 2016 have been quite impressive and much higher than the growth rates achieved previously. The very first year of this government bore fruit in terms of record increase in total revenue by 15 per cent in Financial Year 2016-17, with near 20 per cent increase in Tax Revenue. The Financial Year 2017-18 saw the implementation of GST from July 2017,which gave the State an assured 14 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue. The revenues from other tax and non tax sources like Excise, Transport, Forests etc have started showing impressive upward trend which is here to stay.

Giving an account of the State�s expenditures, the Finance Minister said that, the spending under the Government has been setting new benchmarks each year, crossing Rs.50,000 crore mark for the first time in 2016-17 and achieving a new milestone in 2017-18, by crossing the Rs 60,000 crore mark and within striking distance of Rs. 70,000 crore. During the last two years, the Government increased the State�s expenditure by more than 60 per cent, compared to expenditure growth achieved in 2015-16. Going by the current trend of expenditure, the Government is confident that, for the first time the State will breach the Rs. 70,000 crore level of expenditure during the current financial year, he added.

Sarma, in his Budget speech, said that while the Budget size of the State Government increased by 30 per cent between 2015-16 to 2017-18, the expenditure increased by over 60 per cent which is indicative of the fact that the Government of Assam is focused on the actual utilization of the Budget and not on �artificially inflating� the Budget size.

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Rs 1,193-cr deficit State Budget presented

GUWAHATI, Feb 6 - Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today presented a Rs 1,193.04 crore deficit budget for the State for the 2019-20 financial year and announced a host of new schemes for the benefit of cross sections of the society including students, Government employees, patients suffering from different critical diseases and asserted that the Budget is aimed at ensuring that the State climbs greater heights of development.

In his Budget speech in the State Assembly, the Finance Minister said that the Budget Estimates of 2019-20 show a receipt of Rs 98339.05 crore under the Consolidated Fund of the State. Out of this, Rs 83147.99 crore is on Revenue Account and the remaining Rs 15191.06 crore is under Capital Account.

Sarma in his Budget speech said, �In the last three years, we have built a strong foundation from which we now have to take off. This is not the time to hesitate! This is not the time to turn back the clock! This budget of 2019-20 is a budget of ascension, of lifting ourselves beyond the mundane and to stride onwards to a new dawn of development and progress in every sphere of our life�

Giving an account of the State�s financial health, the Finance Minister said that the present Government inherited a financial position where the budgets ballooned but its financing was forgotten. The Government inherited huge committed liabilities but failed to generate adequate resources. The internal revenue generation growth was only two per cent in 2015-16.The Government was totally dependent on borrowings and funds received from the Government of India, he said. He claimed that the Government managed to turn around the economic situation of the State and increased own revenue mobilization. Revenue mobilization efforts since 2016 have been quite impressive and much higher than the growth rates achieved previously. The very first year of this government bore fruit in terms of record increase in total revenue by 15 per cent in Financial Year 2016-17, with near 20 per cent increase in Tax Revenue. The Financial Year 2017-18 saw the implementation of GST from July 2017,which gave the State an assured 14 per cent year-on-year growth in revenue. The revenues from other tax and non tax sources like Excise, Transport, Forests etc have started showing impressive upward trend which is here to stay.

Giving an account of the State�s expenditures, the Finance Minister said that, the spending under the Government has been setting new benchmarks each year, crossing Rs.50,000 crore mark for the first time in 2016-17 and achieving a new milestone in 2017-18, by crossing the Rs 60,000 crore mark and within striking distance of Rs. 70,000 crore. During the last two years, the Government increased the State�s expenditure by more than 60 per cent, compared to expenditure growth achieved in 2015-16. Going by the current trend of expenditure, the Government is confident that, for the first time the State will breach the Rs. 70,000 crore level of expenditure during the current financial year, he added.

Sarma, in his Budget speech, said that while the Budget size of the State Government increased by 30 per cent between 2015-16 to 2017-18, the expenditure increased by over 60 per cent which is indicative of the fact that the Government of Assam is focused on the actual utilization of the Budget and not on �artificially inflating� the Budget size.