Bolstered by the Supreme Court’s “favourable verdict” on the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Haryana on Monday earmarked Rs 100 crore in its annual budget and expressed willingness to shell 10 times more, if required, for the completion of the canal.
Presenting his budgetary proposals for 2017-18, finance minister Capt Abhimanyu proposed the outlay for construction of the remaining portion of SYL in Punjab, saying that the government is willing to provide even Rs 1,000 crore, if needed.
“The hearing of the presidential reference has been decided by the Supreme Court in favour of Haryana......The state submitted a memorandum to the President on November 28, 2016, for his personal intervention to ensure early completion of remaining portion of the canal in Punjab and to deliver long pending justice to the people of Haryana,” he said, reiterating his government’s commitment towards carrying on the fight for rightful share of the Ravi-Beas waters.
While Punjab conveyed to the court last week that depleting water flow makes it impossible to build the SYL canal, the Khattar government’s decision is being seen as a symbolic move. The contentious canal has been at the centre of legal and political battles between the two states for a long time.
NO NEW TAXES, READY FOR GST
The finance minister announced no new taxes in the budget estimates for the fiscal or proposed any changes in the present rate of taxes under the Haryana Valued Added Tax (HVAT), 2003. He said the state government is fully prepared for implementation of the Goods and Services Taxation (GST) system from July 1 and going ahead with software development, manpower training and migration of the existing dealers under the value added tax for the changeover.
14% INCREASE IN REVENUE EXPECTED
Unable to achieve its revenue receipts target, the state government is expected an increase of 14% in its revenue receipts in 2017-18. Against revenue receipts of Rs 62,955 crore projected in the 2016-17 budget estimates (BE), tax and non-tax revenues of Rs 60,327 crore are expected. The government has set a target of Rs 68,810 crore for 2017-18. In 2017-18, revenue from VAT is likely to be about Rs 8,500 crore in first quarter and Rs 22,000 crore from the second to fourth quarters from GST, indicating the growth rate of 15.5% over RE of 2016-17. Besides, resources of Rs 6,100 crore from the state excise duty, Rs 3,900 crore from stamp and registration fee and Rs 2400 crore from tax on vehicles are expected to be mobilised.
GSDP GROWTH RATE SEES A SMALL DIP
Though the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at constant prices (2011-12) had registered a high growth of 9% in 2015-16, it has slowed down to 8.7% this year. Officials say the small dip could be due to the impact of demonetisation announced in November last year, but the economy will be back on track in the coming fiscal. “The GSDP growth rate is expected to rebound to 9% plus in 2017-18. The growth rate had never touched 9% during the last five years of the previous regime,” the minister said in his speech.
NEW SCHEMES FOR RURAL, URBAN AREAS
Capt Abhimanyu announced a new scheme ‘Deenbandhu Haryana Gram Uday Yojana’, named after Choudhry Chhotu Ram, to develop about 1,500 villages having a population between 3,000 and 10,000 by providing necessary physical, social and economic infrastructure facilities on par with urban areas.
Costing Rs 5,000 crore, the scheme, to be implemented in a phased manner in three years, will be funded through NABARD assistance. An outlay of Rs 1,200 crore for the scheme in the coming financial year. Similarly, in order to create modern infrastructure and for maintenance of the existing infrastructure in urban areas, he proposed to launch “Mangal Nagar Vikas Yojana” in the name of late BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Dr Mangal Sain. He has earmarked an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore for the scheme.