Despite the rising expenditure, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today presented in the state Assembly a revenue surplus Budget for the year 2011-12 and kept the fiscal deficit at 3.18 per cent.
Contrary to the expectations, Nishank made no big populous announcements in the Budget which was the last of the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the hill state where Assembly elections are only 10-11 months away.
However, Nishank expectedly presented no new taxes in the Budget which is revenue surplus to the tune of Rs 309.9 crore. Total receipts are estimated at Rs 18,341 crore which is Rs 3,519.2 crore more than the Budget estimates of the current fiscal with an increase of 23.4 per cent.
Total expenditure is estimated to be Rs 19,366.9 crore, which is Rs 3,915 crore more than the Budget estimates of the year 2010-11. Significantly, Plan expenditure has been increased by 28.3 per cent to Rs 6,564.3 crore in the new Budget. However, the Non-Plan expenditure, which continues to grow over the years, is now expected to be Rs 12,802.6 crore, an increase of 23.9 per cent.
Under provision for capital expenditure which was Rs 3,455.3 crore in 2010-11, there has been a massive increase of 45.9 per cent taking the amount to Rs 5,041.2 crore.
In the 2011-12 Budget estimate, revenue surplus to the tune of Rs 309.9 crore has been estimated against the revenue surplus of Rs 162.1 crore in the previous Budget. This is well within the target of zero revenue deficit given in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management(FRBM) Act.
In the 2011-12, fiscal deficit has been estimated at Rs 2,618.2 crore which is 3.2 per cent of gross state domestic product(GSDP)which is also within the target of 3.5 per cent given by the 13th Finance Commission and FRBM Act. The state’s tax revenue which was estimated to be Rs 6,368.9 crore in 2010-11 will now be increased to Rs 7,715.1 crore thus showing an increase of 21.1 per cent.
Under this, the value added tax (VAT) is estimated to rise by 23.3 per cent,stamp and registration fees is estimated to increase 13.7 per cent, motor vehicle tax is expected to increase by 10.8 per cent and Excise duty to be increased by 5.9 per cent.
For infrastructure development Rs 1,001.8 crore was provided for public works department(PWD)in 2010-11, has been increased to Rs 1,374.5 crore for 2011-12. With the aim of women empowerment, the gender Budget now stands at Rs 1,851.6 crore.
The stamp duty has been reduced to 5 per cent from the previous 6 per cent. To minimise the evasion of stamp duty, e-stamping facility will be introduced in four districts of Haridwar, Dehradun, Udhamsingh Nagar and Nainital.
For small and non-AC restaurants VAT will be reduced from 13.5 per cent to 4 per cent. The existing tax rate on cinema tickets will be reduced in a range of 25 to 50 per cent. Students of Uttarkahand education board securing 80 per cent and above marks would be given laptops. First state women engineering college will be established.
Air ambulance facility will be started soon to cater to emergency disaster situation in far flung areas.