Zero deficit budget presented in Kashmir

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Tax concessions to continue to trade, tourism, farm sectors

JAMMU- Presenting Budget 2013-14, the Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather Wednesday today announced a slew of welfare measures such as hike in daily wage rate, mediclaim insurance for migrants, exempted a few essential commodities from VAT and unveiled steps to empower Panchayati Raj.

The salient features of the 2013-14 budget showed estimated expenditures and receipts of Rs.38,068 crore as compared to revised estimates of Rs.34,311 crore during 2012-13.

For additional resources mobilisation, Rather, who presented 13th budget of his career, said services provided by authorised automobile service stations, property dealers and consultants other than those already included in a service covered by J&K GST Act will be brought under service tax net.

Besides, toll rate will be increased by 5 paisa per kilogrammes in the existing rate of Additional Toll and Toll rate on import of table birds to increase from Rs 6.00 per kg to Rs 8 per kg besides VAT on cigarettes to increase from 30 PC to 40 per cent.

Speaking at a crowded press conference said that J&K was one of the few states of the country which was within the limits of targets fixed by the 13thFinance Commission to contain the fiscal deficit. 

He said the states total tax revenue has marked 123% increase during last four years from 2009 when the present coalition government came into power. He said the total tax revenue in 2009 was Rs. 2600 crore only which has increased to Rs. 5900 crore this year despite levying no new taxes.

Rather said he has tried to provide tax relief to almost every segment of the society including trade, industry, farmers, journalists, BPL class. He said a pprovision of Rs. 231 crore has been kept for devolution to Panchayats adding that Panchayats has been empowered to implement various schemes like MG-NREGA of the order of more than Rs. 1300 crore. He announced remuneration of Rs. 2000/- per month for sarpanches whereas the Panches will get a fee of Rs. 300/- per sitting subject to monthly ceiling of Rs. 600/- per month. He said the Government will also consider appropriate insurance cover for elected Panchayat representatives.

Announcing other welfare initiatives, Mr. Rather said a provision of Rs 5 crore has been proposed for housing and Rs. 9 crore for transit accommodation of migrants under PMRP. He said Rs. 8 crore will be set apart for migrants’ group mediclaim insurance. He announced that a provision of Rs. 100 crore will be kept for Employment related initiatives including Rs. 55 crore as seed capital for SKEWPY and Rs. 20 crore for Youth Start-up Loan Scheme adding that about 18000 posts will be filled in next few years. He said all the pending cases under Old Age Pension Scheme will be cleared for which an amount of Rs. 21 crore has been proposed during next financial year. He also announced to enhance the wage rates of daily rated workers from Rs. 125 per day to Rs. 150 per day.

Announcing sops for journalist fraternity, Rather announced to explore and participate in insurance cover for journalists. He announced 50% increase in the rates for government advertisement besides providing a grant of Rs. two crore under non-plan for clearing outstanding advertisement bills of the newspapers. He said that an amount of Rs. 12 crore against Rs. 8 crore during the current fiscal has been proposed for payment of advertisement bills during the next fiscal year. He said that tax concessions for eatables tourism sector will continue for one year more upto March 2014 or till GST comes into force throughout the country.

Rather also announced special assistance for the BPL orphan girls adding that government will, as a goodwill gesture provide Rs. 30,000 for marriage of each such girl. He said Rs. 3 crore has been proposed for the scheme during the next financial scheme. He also announced that the surcharge on the electricity bills in case of delayed payments who clear their pending bills during current financial year to be waived off.

BUDGET 2013-14 (Highlights)

 SALIENT FEATURES :

 •Estimates of Total Receipts (TR) ` 38068 crore.

•Estimates of Total Expenditure (TE) also at ` 38068 crore.

•Revenue Expenditure (RE) including Security Related Expenditure (SRE) ` 28690 crore, Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)  ` 9378 crore.

•Non Plan Revenue Expenditure (NPRE) consumes   27096 crore of which  ` 17002 crore on salaries and pension.

•A provision of ` 842 crore to disburse third installment of Pay/Pension revision arrears.

•Earmarked provision of 700 crore for DA to employees and pensioners.

•` 75 crore provision in 2013-14 for 10% Employer’s share under New Pension Scheme introduced from January, 2010.

•Provision of 50 crore for clearing statutory liabilities of corporations reported at over 95 crore.

•A provision of 26 crore for meeting cost of VRS/GHS in PSUs.

•Annual Plan 2013-14:  ` 8000 crore. PMRP at ` 600 crore.

•State Share of ` 1000 crore in Plan  to access Central funding of about ` 3500 crore under Centrally Sponsored Schemes and various flagship schemes.

•Plan Revenue Expenditure (PRE) estimated at ` 1564 crore, Plan Capital Expenditure (PCE) ` 7036 crore excluding CSS.

•` 783 crore provision for Urban Local Bodies, Universities and other autonomous bodies / institutions for supplementing their revenue expenditure requirements.

•` 50 lacs to be provided annually for victim compensation scheme.

•Budgetary provision for advertising and publicity to be increased by ` 4.00 crore.

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT:

•Plan provision of ` 1579 crore for Social Services and  652 crore for General Services Sectors.

•Plan provision ` 2207 crore for Special Area Programmes including  ` 87 crore for Leh, ` 81 crore for Kargil, ` 128 crore for BADP, ` 62 crore for Tribal Sub – Plan, ` 52 crore under Rashtriya Shram Vikas Yojana and  ` 1741 crore for District Plan.

•Plan provision of ` 384 crore for Agriculture and allied activities including Rural Development.

•Plan provision of `126 crore for Industries and Minerals, 613 crore for Transport, `18 crore for Communication and ` 4.6 crore for Science, Technology and Environment Sectors.

•Plan provision of ` 889 crore for Energy Sector.

•Plan provision of ` 600 crore under PMRP out of which ` 477 crore for counterpart fund – Asian Development Bank and ` 123 crore for rehabilitation of dwellers of Dal and Nageen Lakes.

PRIs EMPOWERMENT:

•Provision of  ` 231 crore for devolution to Panchayats.

•Panchayats to implement various schemes like MG-NREGA of the order of more than ` 1300 crore.

•Sarpanches to get remuneration of ` 2000/- per month

•Panches to get a fee of ` 300/- per sitting subject to monthly ceiling of ` 600/- per month.

•The Government to consider appropriate insurance cover for elected Panchayat representatives.

WELFARE INITIATIVES:

•Provision of ` 5 crore for housing and ` 9 crore for transit accommodation of migrants under PMRP.

•` 8 crore set apart for migrants’ group mediclaim insurance.

•Provision of ` 100 crore for Employment related initiatives including  ` 55 crore as seed capital for SKEWPY and ` 20 crore for Youth Start-up Loan Scheme.

•Pending cases under Old Age Pension Scheme to be covered. Financial implication around ` 21 crore.

•Provision of ` 2 crore under Medical Aid Trust Fund.

•The wage rates of daily rated workers to be enhanced to  ` 150 per day.

•The Government to explore and participate in insurance cover for journalists.

•A comprehensive restructuring of Excise and Taxation wing to be undertaken.

•70000 to 80000 posts hoped to be filled in the next few years.

•Scheme for financial help to the acid victims to be launched.

•Further ` 2 crore contribution to the corpus of Cancer Treatment and Management Fund.

•BPL orphan girls who have passed matriculation to get` 30,000 for marriage ` 3 crore earmarked for the scheme.

•100 new mobile schools to be opened during next year.

•Surcharge on the electricity bills in case of delayed payments who clear their pending bills during current financial year to be waived off.

•As a one time exercise, all the previous energy consumption accounts of Power Development Department with the consuming departments to be squared up.

•Provision of ` 1.00 crore for giving start to a well designed and effective and educational campaign against the habits of smoking and chewing tobacco.

TAX CONCESSIONS:

•ATTA, MAIDA, SUJI, BESAN, RICE, PADDY outside VAT net for one more year.

•Tax concessions (VAT Remission) to industry extended upto 31.03.2014 or till adoption of new GST regime by our State.

•Existing tax exemptions to Tourism sector to continue for another Year.

•The rates for government advertisements to be increased by 50%.

•Honey exempted from levy of VAT.

•VAT on saffron reduced to 5%.

•Subsidized small tractors, power tiller and other agricultural implements and attachments exempted from levy of VAT.

•The limit of exemption from stamp duty increased to` 1.50 lacs for both Kissan Credit Cards and Artisan Credit Cards.

•VAT on cooked food items sold by hotels, restaurants, food joints, dhabas reduced to 5% from 13.5%.

•Import of Jute fabric exempted from the levy of Entry Tax.

•Raw Pashmina exempted from VAT.

•Stone made idols, havan samagari both packed and loose and guggal dhoop exempted from the levy of VAT.

•VAT on durrets, quilt, blanket covers, table cloth, table covers, mufflers, bed spreads, pillow case and pillow sleeps to decrease to 5%.

•VAT rate on CF Lights to be reduced to 5%.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES MOBILIZATION:

•Services provided by Authorized Automobile Service Stations, Property dealers/Real Estates Agents and Consultants other than those already included in a service covered by J&K GST Act brought under service Tax net.

•Toll rate to increase by 5 paisa per kilograms in the existing rate of Additional Toll.

•Toll rate on import of table birds to increase from ` 6.00 per kg to ` 8 per kg.

•VAT on cigarettes to increase from 30% to 40%.

RATIONALIZATION/REFORM MEASURES:

•Pipe fittings, hand made or machine made washing soap, cables of all types including industrial cable, ‘Aam Papad’ to be taxed at uniform rate of 13.5%

•VAT system made dealer friendly.

•Penalty equivalent to 25% of value of goods in case of an offence lowered, however, the penalty at the rate of twice of VAT to continue.

The legal heirs of registered dealers not to apply for fresh registration.

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