Tax free, balanced, revenue surplus budget presented in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 16 (UNI) Amid uproar and slogan shouting by the Opposition Congress members, Orissa Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadhei today presented a balanced, tax-free and revenue surplus budget for 2008-09 in the Assembly.

Mr Ghadei said the Rs 28747.08 crore budget contained a revenue surplus of Rs 563.87 crore and accorded priority to poverty eradication, infrastructure development, agriculture, health, education and rural development.

The state, he said, had planned to receive Rs 9407.26 crore from its own tax and non-tax revenue and Rs 13,863.16 crore towards its share from Central taxes and grants, while proposing a total expenditure of Rs 22,706.55 crore.

Of the total 28,747.08 crore proposed in the 2008-09 budget, a sum of Rs 20,349.97 crore had been earmarked under non-plan sector, Rs 6653.79 crore under state plan, Rs 538.95 crore in Central plan and Rs 1204.37 crore under Centrally sponsored plan.

The Finance Minister claimed that Orissa became a revenue surplus state for the first time after a long gap of 22 years in 2005-06 after the State Government took several expenditure rationalisation and revenue augmentation measures along with fiscal reform programmes.

Mr Ghadei said the debt stock to total revenue had been decreased to 206.6 per cent by the end of 2006-07 from 324 per cent in 1998-99.

The ratio of interest payment to total revenue receipt also came down to 17.7 per cent in 2006-7 from 32.6 per cent in 1998-99.

The ratio of debt stock to GSDP was decresed to 40.87 per cent in 2006-07 from 46.42 per cent in 2005-06 and finally 37 per cent in 2007-2008.

The Finance Minister said the State Government was trying its best to reach the figure of 28 per cent, recommended by the 12th Finance Commission by the end of 2010-2011.

To a question, Mr Ghadei said the net loan, which had shown an increasing trend in the past, was now showing a declining trend. The net loan incurred was Rs 3832.77 crore in 2003-04, Rs 2417.22 crore in 2004-05 and Rs 2405.27 crore in 2005-06.

It was significantly reduced to Rs 793.06 crore by the end of 2006-07.

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