No new taxes in SAD-BJP government second budget

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Chandigarh, Mar 17 (UNI) In view of the model code of conduct for the Punjab Panchayat elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government today proposed no no new taxes even in the face of a deficit of Rs 1,000.18 crore in its budget for the 2008-09 fiscal.

Presenting the second budget of the present government, the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha here estimated the revenue receipts in the new fiscal at Rs 2,261.02 crore and expenditure at Rs 2,5261.20 crore, leaving a deficit of Rs 1000.18 crore.

The finance minsiter however said the deficit would be covered by way of increase in the VAT which was estimated to go up by 19 per cent, public defts, loans and advances, total consolidated fund and public accounts. With these, the opening balance which was estimated at Rs 339.61 crore, would end with a closing balance of Rs 407.57 crore on March 31, 2009.

"Punjab is on the road to recovery, we have increased the Annual Plan Size to Rs 6210 crore, which is about 21.50 per cent higher than last year's approved outlay and out tax collection is improving", the Minister said at a media conference later.

"I am hoping that Punjab grows at seven per cent in the next five years", he said in his budget speech.

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