The Tamil Nadu Budget for 2014-15, presented by Finance Minister O.Panneerselvam, also laid considerable emphasis on development of agriculture, MSMEs and infrastructure sectors.
The economic slowdown that marred the State’s Own Tax Revenues notwithstanding, the Tamil Nadu Budget for 2014-15 has set aside a major share for the social sector.
The Budget, presented by Finance Minister O.Panneerselvam, on Thursday also laid considerable emphasis on development of agriculture, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and infrastructure sectors.
As much as 37 per cent of the allocation is towards the social sector, Finance Secretary K.Shanmugham said in his post-budget press briefing. The budget was without fresh taxes and Mr. Panneerselvam squarely blamed the Centre for its failure to stimulate growth and economic stagnation.
He said though there were signs of revival with the State’s economic growth expected to exceed five per cent during 2013-14, massive efforts were needed to stimulate the economy to put it back on the path of accelerated growth. Mr. Panneerselevam said while the State government had been striving hard to ensure equitable growth, the Centre’s failure to stimulate growth and to improve the failing macro-economic environment continued to adversely impact investments consecutively for the second year.
“The continued economic stagnation has also caused a substantial shortfall in the State’s projected tax revenues,” he said.
Mr. Panneerselvam said it had become a “daunting task” for the State government to adhere to the Tamil Nadu Fiscal Responsibility (TNFR) Act target without impinging on the State’s ability to invest in critical sectors.
“But a positive sign is that the power situation has already improved significantly in the State and industrial growth is showing recovery,” he said.
“Further, with the proposed investment of Rs. 42,185 crore under Plan schemes during 2014-15, Plan expenditure will cross Rs 1.07 lakh crore, as against the overall 12th Plan target of 2.11 lakh crore,” he said.
The government will construct 62 shelters for homeless destitute persons in urban areas, and 45 existing shelters will be upgraded through the TNULM.
The allocation for pensionary benefits is Rs. 16,021 crore. The monthly maintenance allowance given to differently-abled persons will be increased to Rs. 1,500 from Rs. 1000 from the next financial year.