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Monday, April 19, 2021

No new taxes, focus on education in Himachal’s Rs 50k-cr budget

The total revenue receipts for 2021-22 are estimated at Rs 37,028 crore, whereas total revenue expenditure is estimated to be Rs 38,491 crore, leading to a deficit of Rs 1,463 crore.

By: Express News Service | Shimla |
March 7, 2021 12:43:50 pm
Himachal Pradesh government, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh CM, Himachal Pradesh news, indian expressHimachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. (File)

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur Saturday presented an annual budget of Rs 50,192 crore for the financial year 2021-22 proposing no new taxes while promising to launch 12 new schemes and 32 new policies and initiatives. Social security, health, women welfare, housing for all, farmers’ welfare, quality education, connectivity (physical and digital) and employment generation are the focal points of this budget, he said.

“Our government is presenting a budget of Rs 50,192 crore on the completion of 50 years of statehood of Himachal Pradesh. The budget is Rs 1,061 crore higher than Rs 49,131 crore in the last fiscal despite the Covid-19 crisis,” said Thakur.

The total revenue receipts for 2021-22 are estimated at Rs 37,028 crore, whereas total revenue expenditure is estimated to be Rs 38,491 crore, leading to a deficit of Rs 1,463 crore. The fiscal deficit is estimated at Rs 7,789 crore which is 4.52 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product, Thakur added.

“I believe that necessary resources will be mobilized through effective tax administration, funding from international funding agencies, continued support from Government of India and prudence in fiscal management,” Thakur said.

The CM said that out of every Rs 100 to be spent by the government in 2021-22, Rs 25.31 will be go towards salaries, Rs 14.11 on pension, Rs 10 on interest payment, Rs 6.64 on loan repayment and Rs 43.94 on development works and other activities.

Covid-19 has impacted revenue receipts adversely during 2020-21, he said adding that its impact on state’s own revenue cannot be ruled out during 2021-22.

Thakur announced a budgetary allocation of Rs 8,024 crore for education sector, which has got the highest 16 per cent share of expenditure. Fourteen per cent of the expenditure will go towards pension , followed by loan payments (11 per cent), interest payment (10 per cent), public works (9 per cent) and health (6 per cent), among others. The plan and non-plan based classification of the budget has been discontinued from this budget onwards.

After presenting his fourth budget in the House, Thakur told the media that the state has a debt burden of Rs 60,500 crore. The debt burden has increased by Rs 4,763 crore from Rs 55,737 crore in the last financial year.

MLAs to get full salaries, MLALAD fund restored

While presenting the budget, Thakur announced that the salaries of legislators will be paid in full from April 1 and the MLA local area development (MLALAD) fund will be restored fully. He said the MLALAD fund will not only be restored, but it will be hiked by Rs 5 lakh — from Rs 1.75 crore to Rs 1.80 crore.

The state government had last year decided to cut 30 per cent salary of MLAs and suspend the MLALAD fund for two years to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

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