An entry tax on goods purchased online, a four-fold increase in monetary incentive to promote inter-caste marriages and an ‘e-shakti’ campaign to train 3 lakh rural women to use Internet are among the highlights of the Rs 1.58 lakh crore budget for 2016-17 presented in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Friday.
While proposing a 6 per cent tax on goods purchased online when they enter the state, Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya said ‘e-commerce’ was resulting in revenue loss. Though modalities are yet to be worked out, the government plans to collect details of goods through courier companies. The budget also proposes a hefty increase in VAT on plastic products.
Under the inter-caste marriage promotion scheme that aims to eliminate untouchability, couples used to get
Rs 50,000, which will now go up to Rs 2 lakh. The state has a substantial population of Scheduled Castes.
In a step aimed at empowering women, the minister proposed to set up in every district ‘Usha Kiran Kendra’ on the lines of ‘One Stop Crises Centres’. These centres will provide legal and economic help to victims of domestic violence.
The minister also earmarked Rs 903 crore for ‘Ladli Laxmi Yojana’, a popular scheme under which more than 21 lakh girls in the state have already benefited.