GUWAHATI, March 12 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the Finance portfolio, today presented a Rs 293.44 crore deficit budget for the State for the year 2012-13 without imposing any new tax. He also proposed to reduce entry tax on plant and machinery and raw materials for industries, tax on Kraft paper, honey, glucose, extra natural alcohol, coal tar, railway sleepers, and flush door, while, some incentives have also been given to tea industry.
In his budget speech in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister said that the total expenditure of the State for the coming financial year would be Rs 285561.07 crore against the receipt of Rs 286346.74 crore, leaving a surplus of Rs 785.67 crore. However, with an opening deficit of Rs 1079 crore, the year is estimated to end with a deficit of Rs 293.44 crore. Of the total expenditures for the year, Rs 1487168.50 lakh would be spent on salaries, wages and grant in aid for salaries and Rs 257019 lakh would be spent on payment of pension.
The Chief Minister said that he decided to present a tax free budget without imposition of any new tax and reduce tax on certain items to give a boost to investment and production. To give some relief to industries, he proposed to reduce entry tax on plant and machinery and raw materials for industries. As per the proposal, the small scale industries having investment up to Rs five crore on plant and machineries would now have to pay entry tax only at the rate of 0.25 per cent on import of plant and machinery, while, the medium scale industries having investment up to Rs 10 crore would have to pay at the rate of 0.50 per cent. The industries having investment of more than Rs 10 crore will have to pay at the rate of one per cent on import of plant and machinery. These concessions will result in loss of revenue amounting to Rs 20 crore per annum but these measures have been proposed to encourage local industries.
Gogoi proposed exemption of entry tax on import of Kraft paper to give a boost to local industries to make eco friendly packaging materials and reduced the rate of tax on items like honey, glucose, pre stressed concrete sleepers (railway sleepers), natural alcohol, coal tar, flush door etc from 13.5 per cent to 5 per cent to boost local industries.
In his budget speech, the Chief Minister urged upon the industries, particularly the cement and iron and steel manufacturing units to reduce prices and warned that or else the Government would be forced to enact appropriate provisions for the benefits of the consumers.
To encourage export of tea, the Chief Minister proposed to continue deduction at the rate of Rs six per kilogram of tea exported through ICD, Amingaon from Agriculture Income Tax for another year. He pointed out that the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre is facing stiff competition and to help the Centre, he proposed to reduce the rate of tax on auction sale from one per cent to 0.5 per cent and rate on sale through private arrangement from two per cent to one percent. He said that the Government is hoping to make up the loss for reduction of taxes through increase of sale.
To encourage tourism, he proposed to exempt room tariff of less than Rs one thousand from levy of luxury tax. The luxury tax on rooms having tariff between Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 will be 5 per cent, on rooms having tariff between Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 will be eight per cent and the tax on rooms having tariff of Rs 3000 and more will be 12 per cent.