No new tax introduced in Haryana, Capt Abhimanyu presents budget

Mar 09, 2018 17:40 | Haryana

Chandigarh, March 9-The Haryana Finance Minister, Capt. Abhimanyu said that the State Government has eliminated the 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.

          While presenting the budget in the Vidhan Sabha, here today, Capt Abhimanyu said that the State became Kerosene-free from April 1, 2017. This has resulted in saving of about Rs. 270 crore per annum and Haryana is the only State to have achieved this milestone. As many as three lakh plus LPG connections have been given which have spared these homes from the menace of black smoke.

          The Finance Minister said that the State Government had constituted the Fifth State Finance Commission with Prof. Mukul Asher as Chairman along with eight other members in May 2016. As per the terms of reference, the Commission had to make recommendations relating to devolution of funds to Local Bodies, both rural and urban and measures to increase their financial resources. 

          The Commission had submitted its Report to the Government in September 2017, which was being examined by a Cabinet Sub Committee. As an interim measure, the devolution of funds for the year 2018-19, to rural and urban local bodies, will continue on the existing pattern, he added.

While no fresh taxes have been proposed, VAT on natural gas used by industry has been reduced from 12.5 per cent to 6 per cent in the record Rs 1,15,198.29 crore Haryana Budget for fiscal 2018-19, presented by the Finance Minister, Capt Abhimanyu, to the State Assembly, today.

   Unfolding the contents of his fourth consecutive and steeped-in-social-welfare Budget, Capt Abhimanyu said in consonance with the theme of “Haryana Ek Haryanvi Ek”, iaimed to usher in a new era of balanced growth where no one is left out of the state’s journey of all-round development and prosperity. The Budget seeks to combine fiscal prudence with sagacious use of resources to optimize their effect.

         Marked by some firsts like aligning the allocations with Sustainable Development Goals, the Budget seeks to take the social welfare route to usher in an era of transformation and make tangible improvement in the quality of life both in urban as well as rural areas.

           The Budget represents an increase of 12.6 per cent over the Swaran Jayanti Year Budget of Rs 1,02,329.35 crore last year, and 14.4 per cent over RE 2017-18 of Rs 1,00,739.38 crore. The Budget outlay comprises 26.1 per cent as capital expenditure of Rs 30,012 crore, and 73.9 per cent as revenue expenditure of Rs 85,187 crore. 

                  Riding the crest of better realization of both tax and non-tax receipts, the Finance Minister has estimated revenue receipts at Rs 76,933.02 crore, including the state’s own tax receipt of Rs. 49,131.74 crore, and non tax-revenue of Rs. 11,302.66 crore.  

          The major sources of tax revenue are GST Rs. 23,760 crore, VAT Rs. 11,440.00 crore, Excise Duty Rs. 6,000 crore and Stamp and Registration Rs 4,500 crore. The non-tax receipts include, among others, EDC Rs 4,000 crore, Transport – Rs 2,000 crore and Mines Rs 800 crore.

     Besides, the government can borrow up to three per cent of its GSDP. Further grant-in-aid from the Government of India is another major source of funding in the current fiscal, Capt Abhimanyu added.

         Recapitulating the share of budgetary allocations to different sectors in fiscal 2018-19, he said these had been hiked in most cases. About 28.7 per cent of the total budget has been allocated to economic services like agriculture and allied, irrigation and rural electrification subsidy 12.22 per cent, power 5.87 per cent, transport, civil aviation, road and bridges 4.73 per cent, rural development and panchayats 3.76 per cent and others 2.12 per cent.

            While 33.89 per cent is allocated to social services comprising education 12.96 per cent, social welfare 7.46 per cent, health and family welfare 4.14 per cent, public health engineering 3.20 per cent and others 6.13 per cent, general services get 14.4 per cent share. These include administrative services 4.79 per cent, pension 7.21 per cent and others 2.40 per cent. Also, 23.01 per cent has been allocated for repayment of debt that is principal 10.82 per cent and interest 12.19 per cent.

      Giving an overview of the economy, the Finance Minister said that firing on all cylinders, the economy of the state was on the uptick with most key parameters, especially GSDP, GSVA, revenue receipts-to-GSDP-ratio, capital expenditure, and per capita income making an upward graph.

      Besides, the increasing trend of revenue deficit has been reversed, fiscal deficit kept within limits and the break-up of the contribution of different segments points to the trends that bear the mark of a developing and maturing economy.

        During the current year 2017-18, as per Advance Estimates, the GSDP of Haryana was expected to achieve growth of eight per cent, as against 6.6 per cent recorded at the national level.

    The growth of Gross State Value Added (GSVA) in primary sector has been estimated at 2.5 per cent in 2017-18. It is 7.7 per cent in secondary sector and 9.4 per cent in tertiary sector. The corresponding figures at National level for 2017-18 have been estimated at three per cent for primary sector, 5.1 per cent in secondary sector and 8.3 per cent in tertiary sector.

          The per capita income of the state at current prices in 2016-17 was estimated at Rs. 1,78,890 which is likely to further increase to Rs 1,96,982  in 2017-18 as compared to all-India figure of Rs. 1,12,764 making it one of the highest in the country.

               Out to translate the vision of the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, to double the income of farmers by 2022, the Finance Minster listed a slew of measures to make agriculture remunerative, enhance agricultural productivity and mitigate the physical, financial and psychological distress of farm households and landless workers.

              Knowing full well that the route to jobs is paved with skills, the Finance Minister has increased the outlay for the Skill Development and Industrial Training Department in 2018-19 to Rs 657.94 crore, which is 43.43 per cent over and above Rs 458.71 crore provided in 2017-18.

          “Following prudent fiscal management policies during the last three years, the present government has been able to keep all fiscal parameters, except the revenue deficit, within the limits prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission and under the FRBM Act. Even in the case of revenue deficit, the Government has been able to reverse the increasing trend”, Capt Abhimanyu said.

            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 BE and it is likely to further reduce to 1.35 per cent at 2017-18 RE. “For the fiscal 2018-19, I have targeted to bring it further down to around 1.20 per cent of GSDP and by the end of 2019-20, we aim to bring it close to zero”, he added.

          The Minister said that Effective Revenue Deficit is a much better indicator since it excludes grants given for creation of capital assets from revenue deficit. Our position on this measure is much more comfortable. The Effective Revenue Deficit was 1.19 per cent of GSDP at 2017-18 BE as compared to 2.81 per cent in 2016-17.At RE 2017-18, it is likely to be only 0.52 per cent of GSDP. This proves the point that more emphasis was laid on the creation of capital assets in the economy in 2017-18 as compared to earlier years. The same trend is likely to continue in 2018-19 with a projected effective revenue deficit of just 0.39 per cent of GSDP. 

       Fiscal deficit has remained within the stipulated limit of three per cent of GSDP prescribed by the 14th Finance Commission for the states.  

             Referring to implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Haryana, Capt Abhimanyu said that the State Government has eliminated the 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.

          He complimented the Government of India for an unprecedented highest ever jump in India’s ranking by 42 places in the last three years in the World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” which has been made possible due to the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, to carry out path-breaking reforms.

          The Finance Minister extended support of the state government to Centre in taking “Ease of Doing Business” further to “Ease of Living” for the common people of the country, particularly those belonging to the poor and middle strata of society, and welcomed constitution of the 15th Central Finance Commission.

           Haryana is one of the few states that have prepared their own Vision 2030 Document, based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the assistance of UNDP. In its maiden effort, the state government has attempted to align the budget allocation with SDGs and evolve a mechanism to monitor the implementation through a comprehensive list of global as well as national indicators. Out of total budget of Rs 1.15 lakh crore, an amount of Rs 44,911.16 crore has been allocated to schemes which lead to the attainment of 15 SDGs in due course of time, he added,

              “Needless to say, I have tried to take every stakeholder on board in consonance with the theme of “Haryana Ek Haryanvi Ek”. I am personally thankful to each and every member of this august House for giving patient hearing to my Budget speech. I request all members to discuss, debate and adopt my Budget proposals, which aim to usher in a new era of balanced growth wherein no one is left out of the state’s journey of all-round development and prosperity. With these words, I commend the Budget for the year 2018-19 to the House for its consideration and approval”, the Finance Minister concluded.