AGARTALA, Feb 25 - Tripura Finance Minister Jishnu Debbarma on Monday tabled in the State Assembly a tax-free Budget of Rs 17,530 crore despite severe financial constraints.
The receipts show that 14.69 per cent comes from borrowings, 34.26 per cent from Central taxes and duties, 28.49 per cent from Centrally Sponsored Schemes and 6.53 per cent from Finance Commission grants. Interestingly, assistance from Centre other than sponsored scheme form 1.91 per cent of receipts and only 14.12 per cent form State�s own revenue.
In terms of expenditure, 58.18 per cent of the budgeted amount will go for salaries (35.07 pc), pension (13.15 pc), interest payment (5.87 pc) and repayment of loans (4.09 pc), while only 41.82 pc have been allocated for projected development works, etc. Even though the Finance Minister did not spell it out, confining his statement only to a �difficult financial situation�, it is believed that unproductive expenses will rise further.
What, however, the budget profile makes clear is that after coming to power, the BJP-IPFT Government had inherited a severe financial crisis caused by a massive debt liability of Rs 12, 900 crore which was substantially offset by special assistance from Centre.
In his speech, the Finance Minister said that because of the financial constraints the government was raising social allowances by Rs 300 per month to Rs 1000 as monthly total.
Dev Varma also outlined the vision of the State Government in the sphere of development and how financial benefits to students, farmers, rural poor, scheduled tribes, minorities and other weaker sections had been increased in the financial year 2018-2019.
He also spoke of the high performance in the agriculture sector, highlighting the crop intensity achieved at 191 per cent which is the highest in North East, expansion of facilities for irrigation and system rice intensification (SRI) method of cultivation for increased production.