No new taxes were proposed in the Haryana Budget for financial year 2018-19 that was presented by the Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu in the state Assembly on Friday. It his fourth Budget, the Finance Minister proposed an outlay of Rs 1,15,198 crore, an increase of 12.6 per cent over the last year. He announced that the state government was working on a three-year action plan and a seven-year strategy to implement sustainable development goals.
In the budget for 2018-19, the revenue receipts have been raised to Rs 76,933 crore that includes state’s own tax realisation of Rs 49,131 crore and non-tax revenue of Rs 11,302 crore.
While presenting the Budget, the Finance Minister proposed an allocation of Rs 100 crore for completion of Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal and said “the government was committed to allocate even Rs 1,000 crore for completion of SYL canal, if required”.
The Budget outlay comprises 26.1 per cent in capital expenditure of Rs 30,012 crore and 73.9 per cent as revenue expenditure of Rs 85,187 crore.
The Finance Minister said the state government had created an “Asset Management Cell” to identify government land/properties both within and outside the state. “It has identified 24,109 government properties so far. I propose to raise Rs 1,000 crore from monetisation of these properties in 2018-19,” Capt Abhimanyu said.
Talking about the fiscal deficit, he said, “Fiscal deficit has remained within the stipulated limit of three per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission for the states. The state government has eliminated middle-men and ghost beneficiaries by implementing Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme in various schemes including pension, scholarship and public distribution system, which resulted in savings of about Rs 1,000 crore annually”.
“Even in case of revenue deficit, the government has been able to reverse the increasing trend. This is clear from the fact that in 2016-17 the revenue deficit, which was 2.92 per cent of GSDP, had declined to 1.80 per cent in 2017-18 Budget Estimates (BE) and is likely to further reduce to 1.35 per cent in 2017-18 Revised Estimates (RE). For fiscal 2018-19, I have targeted to bring it further down to about 1.20 per cent of GSDP, and, by the end of 2019-20, we aim to bring it close to zero”, Capt Abhimanyu said.
The state government also launched limited Cashless Medical Services Scheme for government employees and pensioners. This scheme is currently applicable for six life-threatening conditions namely, cardiac emergencies, accidents, third and fourth stage cancer, coma, brain haemorrhage and electrocution. Any employee or pensioner of the government will be able to avail himself of cashless medical facility up to Rs 5 lakh per admission.
The Haryana government also approved setting up of a new non-banking financial company viz. Haryana State Financial Services Ltd. to act as an in-house treasury manager for efficient management of surplus funds of public enterprises, autonomous bodies of Haryana and other state entities. “The company is expected to become operational in the first quarter of 2018-19”, Capt. Abhimanyu said.
The government has also decided to set up Haryana Kisan Kalyan Pradhikaran to make agriculture more remunerative.