Chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, on Wednesday presented the state’s budget for 2015-16 without proposing any new taxes.
The budget proposed new schemes for the farmers, but it had no mention of steps to be taken for mobilising resources even as the state’s financial health remains grim.
Vribhadra proposed a budget outlay of Rs 28,339 crore for the 2015-16 fiscal, out of which the estimated expenditure on salaries and pension would be Rs 8,285 crore and Rs 4,041 crore, respectively. The estimated Interest payments would be Rs 2,950 crore and loan repayments Rs 1,503 crore, besides Rs 397 crore on other loans and Rs 1,838 crore would be spent on maintenance.
He said as per the budget estimates, the total revenue receipts are estimated at Rs 23,535 crore and total revenue expenditure at Rs 23,488 crore with a revenue surplus of Rs 47 crore.
Expected receipts in capital account of the government would be Rs 3,904 crore apart from `900 crore in public account, including provident fund. Capital expenditure, including loan repayments is estimated to be Rs 4,851 crore. The fiscal deficit for 2015-16 is likely to be Rs 3,285 crore.
Virbhadra said against an expenditure of every Rs 100, the state will have Rs 83.11 as total receipts, including transfers from the Union government, excluding loans. He said a gap of Rs 16.89 crore would be met though borrowings.
“Out of every Rs 100 revenue receipts, Rs 26.94 will be accrued from own tax revenues, Rs 6.41 from non-tax revenues, Rs 16.33 from share in central taxes and Rs 50.32 from central grants. Out of every Rs 100 spent, salaries will account for Rs 29.23, pensions Rs 14.26, Interest payments Rs 10.41, loan repayments Rs 5.3 and the remaining Rs 40.8 will be spent on development works.
Virbhadra said as per the revised estimates for 2014-15, the revenue deficit will be 1.61% and fiscal deficit 4.01% of gross state domestic produce (GSDP). He said, the revenue surplus would be 0.04 % and fiscal deficit 2.91% of GSDP.
Virbhadra said the plan size of Rs 4,800 crore has had been proposed for 2015-16, which is Rs 400 crore higher than the plan size of 2014-15. This includes a provision of Rs 1,209 crore for the scheduled castes sub-plan, Rs 432 crore for the tribal sub-plan and Rs 60 crore for the backward area sub-plan.
AGRICULTURE AND HORTICULTURE
The budget focused on the agrarian community with the CM announcing new schemes for the farmers. Virbhadra announced the launch of Rajiv Gandhi Micro Irrigation Scheme with an outlay of Rs 154 crore over a period of four years. Under the new schemes, farmers will be given subsidy of Rs 113 crore for promoting sprinkler and drip irrigation techniques. The farmers will also get 50% subsidy for the setting up lift irrigation schemes for which budget provision of Rs 20 crore has been made. The government also announced the launch of the Uttam Chaara Utpadan Yojana for fodder development by bringing an area of 25,000 hectares under fodder production. It also announced the Mukhyamantri Kisaan evam Khetihar Mazdoor Jeevan Surakhsha Yojana for farmers.
The government proposed to bring additional 3,000 hectares under the improved varieties of horticultural crops in 2015-16.
The government announced to set up a college of fine arts for promoting pahari folk art. Virbhadra proposed to provide blood sugar testing facility at all health sub-centres across the state.
ESTIMATES FOR 2015-16
BUDGET OUTLAY Rs 28,339 crore
FISCAL DEFICIT: Rs 3,285 crore
REVENUE RECEIPTS: Rs 23,535 crore
REVENUE EXPENDITURE: Rs 23,488 crore
SALARY BILL: Rs 8,285 crore
PENSION BILL: Rs 4,041 crore
Free travel facilities in HRTC buses proposed for the students of Kendriya Vidyalaya.
3 LED Bulbs per Domestic Consumer to be provided below market price and the cost at Rs. 10 per LED Bulb to be recovered through electricity bills from consumers.
VAT on LED Bulbs will be reduced from 13.75 per cent to 5 per cent.
Small traders with less than Rs. 25 lakh turn-over to be provided a Group Accidental Insurance cover of Rs 2 Lakhs.
Contract employees completing five years of service as on March 31, 2015 to be regularised.
Daily Wage increased from Rs.170 to Rs. 180.
New industries will be charged Entry Tax @ 1 per cent on industrial inputs.
An outlay of Rs 154 crore proposed for minor irrigation schemes to cover 3,500 hectares of cultivated land.
Amount of 'Vidhayak Khshetriya Vikas Nidhi Yojana' increased from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs.70 lakh.