Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, June 17:
Focusing on infrastructure growth and welfare schemes, the Odisha government today presented a Rs 80139.58 crore budget for 2014-15 and proposed to hike tax rates on liquor, petrol and diesel to augment its revenue base.
The new budget, which is 33% higher than the Rs 60303 crore 2013-14 budget, has proposed to raise the tax rate on liquor from 20% to 25% and that on petrol and diesel from 18% to 20%. The government estimate is that the increase in tax rates in the two categories will fetch an additional revenue of Rs 375 crore per annum.
The tax revision is being mooted in apprehension of a slower recovery of the state’s economy that grew by only 5.6% in 2013-14 as per advanced estimates of the Economic Survey.
Non-plan expenditure has been estimated at Rs 40,711.01 crore with an increase of 7.30% over the budget estimates of the previous year.
Similarly, the state plan, central plan and centrally sponsored plan expenditure have been estimated at Rs 38,810 crore, Rs 609.42 crore and Rs 9.15 crore respectively, totalling Rs 39,428.57 crore- an increase of about 72% over the revised outlay for last year.
“For 2014-15, the state has yet again presented a revenue surplus Budget, projecting a surplus of Rs 4265.55 crore (or 1.32% of the Gross State Domestic Product- GSDP) compared to Rs 1951.49 crore in 2013-14,” said Finance Minister Pradip Kumar Amat, who presented his first ever budget in the state Assembly.
The budget has estimated a fiscal deficit of Rs 9696.83 crore, 2.98% of the GSDP and within the stipulation of 3% stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility & Budget Management Act.
Stating that the budgeted expenditure would be financed through estimated revenue receipts of Rs 67,146.96 crore, recovery of loans, advances of Rs 240.29 crore and borrowing and other receipts of Rs 12,752.32 crore, Amat said the revenue surplus would be of the order of Rs 4265.55 crore.
To boost the farm sector, the finance minister presented a separate budget for agriculture raising the outlay for the department under plan and non-plan areas from Rs 1823.77 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 2727.99 crore in 2014-15, registering an increase of about 50%.
The state’s Plan outlay has been fixed at Rs 40,810 crore for FY15, 90% surge over Rs 21467 crore in 2013-14. The Plan outlay includes Rs 38810 crore for the government sector and Rs 2000 crore for the public sector undertakings (PSUs).
The state’s tax and non-tax revenue has been pegged at Rs 27886.65 crore for the fiscal, 13.45% more than the revised estimate for 2013-14. The state hopes to achieve a tax-GSDP ratio of 6.09% in 2014-15 compared to the revised estimate of 5.93% in 2013-14.
The government has also unveiled several new shcmes inlcding for ‘Mukhya Mantri Sadak Yojana’ to improve road connectivity in rural areas. The budget has a allocation of Rs 150 crore for the scheme.
In the energy sector, the Budget has earmarked funds for some new schemes. The Budget has earmarked Rs 100 crore for State Capital Region Improvement in Power System (SCRIPS) for providing a disaster resilient power system capable of providing quality and reliable power to the region.
Allocations under the state government’s flagship socio-economic schemes include Mo Kudia Scheme (Rs 330.01 crore), Gopabandhu Grameen Yojana (Rs 225 crore), Mamata (Rs 222.63 crore), Biju KBK Yojana (Rs 120 crore) and Rs 1327.16 crore for the Rs one per kg rice scheme.
However, surprisingly, the budget is silent on creation of corpus fund for the chit fund investors.