Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who also holds the Finance Portfolio on Friday presented the budget estimates for the year 2010-11 with a proposed outlay of Rs 15,078.92 crore.
Presenting his third consecutive budget Mr. Dhumal, on the analogy of some neighbouring States, proposed to raise the VAT rate from 4 to 5 per cent but exempted the edible oils and food grains from the fresh one per cent increase.
With the view to generate additional tax revenues, he said, the Government is also planning to introduce the Himachal Pradesh Tax on Entry of Goods into Local Area Bill in next few days. This entry tax is proposed to be levied on goods used by various industries and projects.
To avoid the tax evasions and leakages the Excise and Taxation department would be computerised at a cost of Rs 21 crore, declared the Chief Minister.
The financial year 2010-11 is expected to be open with a surplus of Rs 630.14 crore. As per budget estimates for 2010-11, he said, the total revenue receipts are estimated at Rs.11,588.55 crore and the total revenue expenditure is estimated at Rs. 12,093.42 crore, leaving a deficit of Rs.504.87 crore on the revenue account. On the capital account, the total expected receipts are Rs. 2,798.77 crore and the total capital expenditure, including loan repayments, is estimated at Rs. 2,985.50 crore. The fiscal deficit for 2010-11 is expected to be 5.08 percent of the Gross State Domestic Product.
Total expenditure estimate for 2010-11 is Rs. 15,078.92 crore. The estimated expenditure on salaries is Rs. 4,454.59 crore, estimated interest payments are Rs. 2,236.30 crore, loan repayments are expected to be Rs. 1,026.04 crore and pension expenditure is estimated at Rs. 1,850 crore.
Showing his concern on decreasing revenue left for the developmental works Mr. Dhumal said, against an expenditure of every 100 rupees, the State will have 77 rupees as total revenue receipts, including transfers from the Centre. The gap of 23 rupees will have to be met by borrowings. Out of every 100 rupees of State revenue receipts, 26 rupees will accrue from own tax revenues, 15 rupees from non-tax revenues, 14 rupees from share in Central taxes and 45 rupees from Central grants. Out of every 100 rupees spent,
salaries will account for 30 rupees, interest payments 15 rupees, loan repayments 8 rupees, pensions 12 rupees, maintenance 8 rupees and the remaining 27 rupees will be spent on all other activities including major developmental works.
Thus according to 2010-11 budget estimates, the income and expenditure are estimated at Rs 14,646.29 crore and Rs 15,078.92 core respectively. Keeping in view the current year deficit of Rs 432.63 crore, the year 2010-11 is likely to close with a surplus of Rs. 197.51 crore.
Mr Dhumal said since apple is the main horticulture crop in the state, the budget has proposed an Rs.85-crore ‘apple rejuvenation project’. Under the project, old and low yielding variety of trees would be replaced with productive varieties of apple rootstocks in 12,500 acres in the next five years.
To tap additional sources of hydropower, the budget has proposed to harness more than 600 MW in the coming fiscal.
“The state has a power potential of about 23,000 MW. About 6,480 MW has been
harnessed till now. In the coming fiscal, we expect to add more than 600 MW with the commissioning of Allain Duhangan, Malana II, Budhil, Chamera III and some other small projects. These projects will add more than 2,700 million units per year,” said the Chief Minister.
He also said there would be direct elections for Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Municipal Corporations and Presidents and Vice Presidents of Municipal Councils.
Meanwhile the leader of opposition Mrs Vidya Stokes has termed the budget as anti- inclusive growth, anti-common man and anti-farmer. She said the Government has already raised the bus fares by at least 50 percent in past two years of its rule. The CPI-M has called the BJP budget as anti-peasant, anti-employment and inherently disappointing for the mass of the people of the state. The speech talks a lot about opening private universities that stand the hallmark of the present government. They have virtually sold the higher education into private hands, alleged the CPI-M.