Dull, tax free Himachal budget

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imageShimla :Presenting a tax free insipid budget which only stood out for its record length.A key sector like tourism has been ignored.

The marathon budget speech lasted over three hours was presented by the 80 year old Himachal chief minister Virbhadra Singh here Wednesday.This is the 18 th budget of the six time chief minister.

Like always the most powerful section in the hill state the government employees and pensioners have been given fresh sops including announcing 7 per cent dearness allowance.

Daily wagers completing seven years this month will be regularised and part timers for 8 years will be made daily wagers.

Even though debts will touch Rs 34,700 crore no new taxes have been proposed.

In a state which is power surplus and achieved 100 per cent electrification in 1989 the government this time proposes Rs 380 crore to subsidise electricity for domestic consumers.

Now new industry will be charged entry fee of 1 per cent instead of 2 per cent on industrial inputs.The plan is to spend Rs 40 crore for developing industrial areas and Rs 20 crore for further developing the industrial hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh .

In an effort to popularise LED bulbs, VAT on such bulbs has been reduced to 5 per cent from 13.75 per cent.

Also every domestic consumer will be given three LED bulbs at Rs 10 each.Now solar projects will be treated as industrial projects.

The total budget expenditure is Rs 28,339 crore.Salaries Rs 8,285 crore, pensions Rs 4,041 crore.

Interest payments will be Rs 2,950 crore,loans repayments Rs 1900 crore and only Rs 1839 crore will be left for maintenance.

Budget estimates are Rs 23,535 crore and revenue receipts Rs 23,535 crore.While the revenue expenditure is estimated Rs 23,488 crore with a revenue surplus of Rs 47 crore.

Capital expenditure including repayments is Rs 4,851 crore.Fiscal deficit is likely to be Rs 3,285 crore.

Out of every 100 rupees the state will have Rs 83 total revenue including transfers from the Centre.The gap of Rs 16.89 will be met by borrowings.

Out of every 100 rupees of state revenue receipts almost Rs 27 will accrue from own taxes revenues.Rs Rs 6.41 from non-tax revenues,Rs 16.33 from share in Central taxes and Rs 50.32 from Central grants.

Out of every 100 rupees spent, salaries will account for Rs 29.23, pensions Rs 14.26 ,Interest Rs 10.41, loans Rs 5.30.The remaining Rs 40.80 will be spent on development works.