Punjab budget focuses on getting additional resources

first_imgPunjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal on Saturday presented budget proposals for 2018-19, pegged at ₹1,29,698 crore, emphasising that the State government was adopting a prudent fiscal road map with its focus on mobilising additional resources to put the economy back on track.Presenting his second budget, Mr. Badal proposed to raise ₹1,500 crore through additional resource mobilisation measures. “The government has decided to bring in a legislation for imposing a nominal development tax of ₹200 per month only on the income tax payees who are engaged in professions, trades, callings and employments,” he said, adding that this move would help in getting loans at cheaper interest rates from organisations such as Asian Development Bank.He added that many States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have been collecting such tax for development for a long time.”The State also intends to bring a new social security legislation to create a dedicated fund to meet its commitment towards the weaker sections of society,” he said.Mr. Badal pointed out that in the last one year the State has reduce the number of days for which the treasury remained in overdraft from 179 in 2016-17 to 98 days in 2017-18, thereby reducing the interest liability on this count on the State by about ₹5 crore. “The State had remained in double overdraft for 29 days in 2016-17. We hope to close 2017-18 without going into double overdraft even for a single day,” he added.While the total budget size was kept at ₹1,29,698 crore, the effective size is ₹1,02,198 crore, as the above figure contains a provision of ₹27,500 crore towards ‘ways and means’ transactions for the current year. The total receipts are expected to be₹1,22,923 crore. The total outstanding debt of the State as of March 31, 2018, is₹1,95,978 crore, which is likely to rise and touch ₹2,11,523 crore in 2018-19.Mr. Badal has proposed to allocate a sum of ₹4,250 crore during 2018-19 for the implementation of the debt waiver scheme.The government has also decided to give free sanitary napkins to all girl students from Class VI to XII in all government schools. A sum of ₹10 crore has been earmarked for this purpose. Besides, to provide free textbooks to students from Classes I-XII in government schools, a provision of ₹49 crore has been made.Amid the budget speech, the Opposition parties — Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party — shouted slogans, accusing the Congress government of backtracking on its promise of complete farm loan waiver, and walked out of the House.Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal dismissed the budget terming it “directionless, meaningless and devoid of vision”.“It documents the government’s betrayal of the farmers, the Dalits and the poor, the youth, the employees and the helpless senior citizens,” he said.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *