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West Bengal presents farmer-friendly budget


Press Trust of India Kolkata
West Bengal's budget for 2018-19, presented in the assembly today, announced a number of relief measures targeting the agriculture sector.

Finance Minister Amit Mitra, in his budget speech, announced relief in payment of stamp duty fees for the rural sector, exemption of agriculture tax and cess on green tea leaves, mutation fees exemption for farmers, farmers' pension, and creation of corpus for assisting them.

The panchayat polls in the state are due in the next three-four months.

The budget also announced various measures for women like increase of 'Kanyashri' scholarship and introduction of marriage assistance under the 'Rupashree' scheme with an initial outlay of Rs 1,500 crore.

The government also announced measures to help the physically challenged by increasing their pension amount from Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 per month that will benefit 2 lakh people.

The outlay for this scheme, named 'Manabik', has been pegged at Rs 250 crore.

Stamp duty payment in the rural areas for properties between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 1 crore had been reduced from 6 to 5 per cent.

For the urban sector too, the stamp duty has been reduced from 7 to 6 per cent.

The government also proposed to create an assistance corpus of Rs 100 crore for the farmers to be given out when in distress, and increase in farmers' pension from Rs 750 to Rs 1,000 per month to cover 1 lakh beneficiaries.

The size of the budget for the year 2018-19 is Rs 2,14,958 crore, Mitra said, adding the state has been able to create employment for 8.92 lakh persons despite the adverse impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation.

The budget also proposed an additional resource mobilisation under tax revenue of Rs 1,870 crore during the year.

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 8:05 PM IST

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