The last budget before elections: Govt plays safe, tries to please all
Bhopal: LPG cylinder will cost less by Rs 20 ( Rs 45 for commercial purpose) in Madhya Pradesh as the finance minister on Friday announced to reduce entry tax on the fuel gas from 6.47% to 2% in an election year.
Playing demonstrably safe in the last budget of the Shivraj government's second term, the finance minister desisted from major shake-up in the state's priorities. The agriculture, education, police, and industry sectors have got a substantial hike in budgetary allocations ( see box) but a marked priority in the overall budget does not exist.
Tourism and culture got a 31% hike in the budget while urban administration 22% , social justice 31% , sports 21% , urban administration 22% , women and child development 26%
His tenth consecutive budget for 2013-14 as finance minister amply reflects please-all approach.
Significantly, this please-all feeling marked the Raghavji's previous budget too when no fresh tax was imposed and DA for the state government employees was increased by 7%.
Interestingly, petrol was made slightly cheaper in the previous budget by reducing VAT on it. This year, the finance minister chose only LPG cylinder for relief to the consumers.
But the employees continue to be the government's pampered children. The minister said the government will give 72% DA to the employees and pensioners at par with the Central government employees as promised by the state government.
The government has proposed to impose a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on liquor across the board unlike in the past when tax was levied only from those who bought liquor from bars.
However, as a consolation, snacks that go with liquor have been made cheaper.
VAT on snacks has been brought down to 5% from the current 13%.
Similar rebate has been announced for chocolates, candy and peppermint drops costing less than Rs 100, naphtha, emulsified vitamin, oxygen, milking machine, pre-fabricated steel structure, barbed wire, wire welded mess and chain link.
In a relief to power consumers, the finance minister decided to exempt realization of VAT charged as rent from them on the electricity meter installed in their houses and establishments from April 1. Textile and automobile industries have got much-needed concessions in the budget. Representatives of the two sectors had been campaigning for relief in order to remain afloat in the market in the face of still competition from other states.
The VAT on automobile components has been brought to 5% from 13% . The textile will get its raw material input tax rebate from current 1% to 3% in an attempt to generate more employment from these sectors.
It has also proposed to spent Rs 8856 crore for infrastructure development in the state as party of its effort to make the development comprehensive.
Similarly, the budget has proposed a 40% hike in investment for promoting industry and mining which included industrial investment promotion assistance.