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No fresh tax in Himachal Pradesh Budget

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh presented a budget of Rs 28,339 crore for 2015-16 with no new taxes on Wednesday

Virbhadra Singh Virbhadra Singh

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday presented a budget of Rs 28,339 crore for 2015-16 with no new taxes on Wednesday. Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, in his Budget presentation pegged revenue receipts at Rs 23,535 crore against the revenue expenditure of Rs 23,488 crore, leaving a surplus of Rs 47 crore.

The capital expenditure, including loan repayments is estimated to be Rs 4,851 crore. Fiscal deficit for 2015-16 is likely to be Rs 3,285 crore.

The  major expenditure would be incurred on salaries (Rs 8,285 crore), pensions (Rs 4,041 crore), loan repayments (Rs 1,503 crore) and maintenance (Rs 1,838 crore).

The state government announced several concessions for different sections of the society.

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In order to boost energy conservation, the chief minister announced to give three LED bulbs at a subsidised rate of Rs 150 to 21 lakh households in the state.

He said that the cost of a bulb would be recovered in an installment of Rs 10 per bulb per month and also proposed to cut value-added tax (VAT) on these bulbs from 13.75 to 5 per cent.

The chief minister also announced reduction of VAT on fabrication of body of trucks and buses from 13.75 to 5 per cent.

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“The exporters making purchases of industrial inputs within the state for export purpose will be provided the facility of purchase goods tax free purchase within the state on the submission of requisite form,” he said.

“This is a growth-oriented budget and I have tried to allocate funds to each department. The priority is given to education, roads, irrigation and public health and agriculture,” the chief minister told reporters after the budget.

Out of every Rs 100 of state revenue receipts, Rs 26.94 will accrue from own tax revenues, Rs 6.41 from non-tax revenues, Rs 16.33 from share in central taxes and Rs 50.32 from central grants.

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Out of every Rs 100 spent, the salaries will account for Rs 29.23, pensions for Rs 14.26, interest payments for Rs 10.41, loan repayments for Rs 5.30, and the remaining Rs 40.80 will be spent on developmental works.

“This is a growth-oriented budget and I have tried to allocate funds to each department. The priority is given to education, roads, irrigation and public health and agriculture,” he told reporters.

On being asked the difference between his first budget and the 18th, he said: “This is my longest budget speech.”

BJP, the opposition party described the budget directionless. “It’s totally directionless. 60 per cent funds in the budget are grants from the central government,” Leader of Opposition and two-time chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal told reporters.

First published on: 18-03-2015 at 10:07:41 pm
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