February 7, 2021 1:08:33 am
A day after the interim Budget (vote on account), West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said the Centre is imposing cess and surcharges to deny the states from getting their share of revenues.
Addressing a virtual press conference, Mitra said, “The quantum of cess and surcharges have been increased from 8 to 16 per cent by the Centre in the last several years. Since collection from cess and surcharges are not to be shared with the states, that is why they are being raised. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had already asked the Centre not to raise cess surcharges in this manner.”
Due to health issues, Mitra could not deliver the interim Budget on Friday, which was presented by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on his behalf. She presented the Rs 2.99 lakh crore vote- on-account.
Speaking on the vote-on-account, Mitra had said the state’s tax collection has increased 3.57 times since 2011 — since the Trinamool Congress came to power — and its debt to GSDP ratio had declined from 40.65 per cent in 2011 to 34.81 per cent at present. He also said fiscal deficit had fallen from 4.24 per cent to 2.94 per cent at the latest count.
The Minister further said the state’s development expenditure had risen six times, capital expenditure 14 times and social expenditure 9.15 times.
Expenditure on physical infrastructure had increased 5.58 times since the TMC came to power in 2011. According to him, the state government has taken massive strides in developing school and higher education, minority affairs and public works and health expenditure.
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