Finance and Deputy chief minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi on 22 February 2013 Bihar presented a revenue surplus Budget for financial year2013-14 while proposing an extensive increase in tax rates, especially for tobacco products, to clean the additional revenue in the wake of a general slowdown in the economy.
Sushil kumar Modi had presented his ninth consecutive budget since 2005-06, fixing the state's total expenditure for 2013-14 at 92088 crore Rupees. Bihar became the first state in the country to announce its road maintenance policy.
Highlights of the Budget:
• The revenue surplus was estimated at 6809 crore rupees and was the salient feature of the Budget as the fund could be used for undertaking new development projects.
• The total non-plan estimated is 53081 crore rupees.
• The fiscal deficit is estimated to be at 8769 crore Rupees or 2.79 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP).
• The state government has proposed to make borrowings of 1819 crore Rupees from various financial institutions to meet the expenditure requirement.
• A growth of 9.5 percent, is expected in fiscal year 2013-14 which is almost double of the national average.
• The state’s outstanding public debt has been estimated at 65838 crore Rupees in 2013-14, which is 20.96 per cent of GSDP which is an indicator of Bihar's healthy financial condition as several states have been deeply burdened with growing public debt over the years.
• The education, road and health sectors got large share of the funds under the proposed expenditure for the next year at 18281 crore rupees, 3357 crore rupees and 7208 crore rupees respectively, higher by 10-20 per cent in comparison to 2012-13.
• A hike in tax rates for commercial vehicles was Proposed by the Government as per which Tractors, trailers, two-wheelers, cars, autos and buses will now cost more in the state.
• Tax on cigarettes is also increased from the present 20 per cent to 30 per cent to deter the consumers in view of health hazards. Taxes on tobacco used for making bidi would be 13.5 per cent.
• Taxes on products like transmission tower, transformer and UPS has been raised from five to 13.5 per cent, while entry tax has been levied on other products like furniture, lift, elevator and battery.
• In a slight relief to the consumers, the state government has exempted tax on goods like non-incense agarbattis, coconut (in view of its religious value), kurthi (a pulse variety), peanut and rajma.
• As per announced budget women-owned and driven commercial vehicles will be tax-free.
• The state government also announced taxes ranging from 14 per cent to 27 per cent on various categories of vehicles like tractors, trailors, three-wheelers, taxies/cabs, buses of different seating capacity as such revision has not taken place for 19 years.
• A number of development schemes, mostly related to agriculture, irrigation and education sectors was announced by the government with an aim to provide farming technique and related information to the farmers,
• A 100 percent hike was also announced by the government in the honorarium to the farm advisers (krishi salahkars) from 2500 to 5000 Rupees and decided to continue with one per cent subsidy on farm loan upto 3 lakh rupees.
• The budget also brings good news for 318 legislators (from both houses) as the government will start constructing houses for them at an estimated cost of Rs 303 crore.
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