Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi today presented a revenue surplus budget for the state for the next fiscal and proposed substantial hike in cigarette and other tobacco products to mop up additional revenue.
Presenting his ninth consecutive budget since 2005-06 in the capacity as the state finance minister, Modi said the state's total expenditure for the next fiscal has been fixed at Rs 92,087.93 crore against the total receipts of
Rs. 91,899,16 crore.
The total expenditure of Rs 92,087.93 crore is proposed to consist mainly of the state plan at Rs 34,000 crore and non-plan estimates of Rs 53,081.63
crore, he said.
It would also contain expenditure of Rs 4715.43 crore and Rs 290.87 crore under centrally-sponsored schemes
(CSS) and central plan scheme (CPS) respectively, he said.
The total expenditure will easily cross a 'respectable' Rs one lakh crore mark, if one includes an estimated expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore transferred directly to various agencies by the centre for implementation of development and welfare
programmes, Modi said.
As against the high expenditure target, the state government has proposed a receipt of Rs 91,899.16 crore comprising of total revenue receipt at Rs 80,066.47 crore with its own tax revenue at Rs 20,962.70 crore in the next fiscal.
The state government has proposed to make borrowings of Rs 11,819.41 crore from various financial institutions to meet the expenditure requirement.
Elaborating on the highlights of the Bihar budget for 2013-14, Modi said the estimated revenue surplus of Rs 6808.85 crore was the salient feature of next year's budget as the fund will come in handsomely for undertaking new development projects.
The fiscal deficit of Rs 8769.45 crore was another feature of the budget proposals as the state government has targeted to peg the deficit at 2.79 per cent of GSDP that was well under the target set under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management
Under the FRBM Act, states have been asked to keep their fiscal deficit at upto three per cent of the
GSDP, he said.
Modi said the outstanding public debt has been estimated at Rs 65,837.99 crore in 2013-14 which is at 20.96 per cent of the
GSDP. This he said was an indicator of Bihar's healthy financial condition as several states have been deeply burdened with growing public debt over the years.
Of the priority sectors earmarked by the state government in terms of expenditure allocation, he said education, health and road sectors have got the lion's share of the funds under proposed expenditure for next year at Rs 18,280.78
crore, Rs 3356.84 crore and Rs 7208.42 crore respectively, higher by 10-20 per cent in comparison to last year.
The state government has also proposed to spend 16 per cent of the budget for those belonging to scheduled castes at par with their population, while another one per cent has been earmarked for the Scheduled Tribe communities under the state government's agenda for development with social justice, he said.
It has also been decided to make budgetary allocation for welfare of women, popularly called gender budget, and the quantum of funds proposed to be spent in this regard will be announced in due course of time, he said.
With plan and non-plan expenditure rising over the years, particularly on heads related to salaries and pension, Modi said the state government has been focussing hard to increase its revenue corpus through taxes at Rs 20,962 crore as against Rs 9,869.85 crores four years ago.
In order to widen its tax net, the state government has proposed to increase tax on cigarettes from the present 20 per cent to 30 per cent to deter the consumers in view of health hazards. Taxes on tobacco used for making bidi would be 13.5 per cent.
Taxes on products like transmission tower, transformer and UPS has been raised from five to 13.5 per cent, while entry tax has been levied on other products like furniture, lift, elevator, battery and battery charges.
Scientific classification of materials like hand-made soap, non-stick cookware, mosquito repellents (both liquid and solid), floor and wall cleaners was underway to fix tax slab, he said.
In a minor relief to the consumers, the state government has exempted tax on goods like non-incense
agarbattis, coconut (in view of its religious value), kurthi (a pulse variety),peanut and
The state government has sought to make liqour and other brew dearer by proposing surcharge on it, Modi said.
The state government also sought to empower women and motivate them to participate in transportation business for livelihood.
In this regard, Modi announced 100 per cent exemption from road tax for those women purchasing commercial vehicles from three-wheeler, taxi, maxi to motor cab in their own names. But such commercial vehicles must have women drivers too.
In case of detection of misuse of the benefit, the violators will be charged double rate of the prescribed road tax, he said.
In another sop, the state government has waved off Rs 17.50 annual tax on tricycles and vehicles used by physically challenged persons.
To mop up additional taxes estimated at Rs 60 crore per annum, it has been decided to impose double the charge for temporary transport permit for 30 days) on commercial vehicles from other states plying in Bihar. Such penalty would not, in any case, be less than Rs 5,000, the Finance Minister said.
The state government also announced taxes ranging from 14 per cent to 27 per cent on various categories of vehicles like tractors,
trailors, three-wheelers, taxies/cabs, buses of different seating capacity as such revision has not taken place for 19 years.
Modi, however, disagreed that tax hike on commerical vehicles will make transportation a costly affair in any significant manner.
The Deputy Chief Minister also announced sops and a number of development schemes, mostly related to agriculture, irrigation and education sectors.
With an aim to provide farming technique and related information to the farmers, the government announced 100 per cent hike in the honorarium to the farm advisors
(krishi salahkars) from Rs 2500 to RS 5000 and decided to continue with one per cent subsidy on farm loan upto Rs three
Modi announced construction of four-lane road on Tajpur-Bithauli-Jale-Pupri and Jaleshwar upto the Indo-Nepal border and
Tajpur-Hajrat-Jandaha-Panapur-Mahua-Lalganj-Vaishali respectively and a six-lane road on river Ganga between Kachchi Durgah and Raghopur diara in the next fiscal under the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.
He said three road-cum-rail bridges will be constructed on Gandak and Koshi rivers at an estimated cost of Rs 1200 crore to improve connectivity in West
Champaran, Gopalganj and Saharsa districts.
A 3D theatre and interpretation centre has also been proposed at the Sanjay Gandhi Botanical Park at the state capital to woo visitors, Modi added.
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