GUWAHATI, March 6 - Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today presented a Rs 1249.50 crore deficit Budget for the year 2020-21 without imposing any new tax. He also proposed reduction of taxes on petrol and diesel.
This is the last full Budget of the present government as the election to the State Assembly is due next year.
In his Budget speech in the State Assembly, the Finance Minister said that the State government has been able to present a Budget without imposing new tax because of the efforts on improving revenue collection and checking corruption.
The minister proposed to lower the taxes on petrol and diesel by 50 paisa.
He also announced a three-year agricultural income tax holiday for the tea industry.
For all properties registered in the name of Divyang children, there will be a 100 percent waiver on registration fees and any vehicle registered in the name of a Divyang will be eligible for a waiver of 50 per cent of the registration fee.
All treatment for Divyang at all government hospitals to be made free, while all Divyang employees of the State government will be given a Puja bonus of Rs 2,000 in addition to their monthly salary.
Sarma further proposed that all electric vehicles registered in the name of women will be exempted from the registration fee.
According to the Budget estimates, the total receipts of the State will be Rs 282294.39 crore and the expenditures will be Rs 280360.29 crore, leaving a surplus of Rs 1934.10 crore. However, because of a deficit opening balance of Rs 3183 crore, the year 2020-21 will end with a deficit of Rs 1249.50 crore.
Giving details of the Budget Estimates of 2020-21, the minister revealed that the estimates show a receipt of Rs 105245.23 crore under the Consolidated Fund of the State. Out of this, Rs 91930.80 crore is on Revenue Account and the remaining Rs 13315.43 crore is under Capital Account. After adding the receipt of Rs 177048.16 crore under Public Account, the aggregate receipts amount to Rs 282294.39 crore. As against this, total expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State in 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 103761.63 crore of which Rs 82776.98 crore is on Revenue Account and Rs 20984.65 crore is on Capital Account.
Taking into account the expenditure of Rs. 176598.66 crore under Public Account, the aggregate expenditure for the year is estimated at Rs. 280360.29 crore. Thus, estimated transactions during the year will result in an estimated surplus of Rs. 1934.10 crore. This, together with the opening deficit of Rs. 3183.60 crore will lead to a Budget deficit of Rs. 1249.50 crore at the end of the year 2020-2021.
Giving an account of the State�s economy, the Finance Minister said that while the global economy is looming under the economic slowdown during 2019-20, which has a cascading effect on the Indian economy, State economy has remained mostly insulated during the year and the GSDP is estimated to grow higher than the previous year.
Sarma revealed that during the tenure of the present government, efforts were made to strengthen the financial position by augmenting revenue collection. He claimed that efforts were also made to bring in transparency in the whole system.
The minister said that the government managed to set new benchmarks of spending and said that in 2018-19, the government could spend 67 per cent of the budgeted amount. The government spending crossed the Rs 50,000 crore mark for the first time in 2016-17, then Rs 60,000 crore mark in 2017-18 and crossing the Rs 70,000 crore mark in 2018-19 (Provisional Estimates).
The minister expressed the hope that with the improvement of the State�s financial position, the government would soon be able to pay the salaries and wages from its own sources without depending on the Central grants. �When the present government came to power in the year 2016-17, the State was heavily dependent on the Central grants even for payment of salaries to its own employees. Over the last four years, we have undertaken the massive project of reviving the State�s economy. Where in 2015-16, the government was in a position to pay only 6 months 10 days� worth of employees� salaries through own revenues, today we are in a position to pay the same for 7 months and 9 days. Let me remind the House that this increase of 15% is despite the increased number of employees, pensioners and increased pay on account of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. I am confident that, at this rate, we will soon be able to pay the full year�s salary through our own revenues without depending on the Central grants,� he asserted.