Chandigarh, Mar 18 (UNI) Haryana Finance Minister Birender Singh today presented the state's annual budget in the assembly with no fresh taxes and announced new initiatives benefiting women, children, state employees and scheduled castes.
Presenting his fourth budget, Mr Birender Singh also announced abolition of VAT on sanitary napkins, diapers and toys, excluding battery operated, electric and electronic toys, as a welfare measures for women and children.
He also extended the tax relief (reduction of VAT from 12 per cent to 4 per cent), given last year to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), to chokes of energy efficient tube lights in 2008-09. For the welfare of farmers, the Finance Minister suggested to bring money lenders and Arahtiyas (Commission Agents) under the ambit of administrative and financial control of the Central government.
He said rate of interest on short-term agriculture loans had been reduced from 11 per cent to 7 percent and further 2 per cent rebate would be given to those who repay the loan in time.
He announced to reduce stamp duty by one per cent across the board and continue the concession to women.
He said that for the first time in Haryana, there would be gender budgeting.
The government also earmarked 21.55 per cent of Plan funds for welfare and development of weaker sections of society under Special Component SubPlan (SCSP). Mr Birender Singh announced the decision of the state Government to launch a new scheme for grant of loan to the members belonging to Scheduled Castes for construction of their houses at subsidised rate of interest.
He also announced to implement 'Mukhyamantri Scheduled Castes Shiksha Protsahan Scheme' to give monthly stipend ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 300 per month for boys and Rs 150 to Rs 400 per month for girls. One time allowance ranging from Rs 740 to Rs 1450 will also be given to all students belonging to Scheduled Castes to meet the expenditure of uniform, stationery and school bag.
All girls hailing from below poverty line (BPL) families had also been proposed to be covered under this scheme, he added. MORE UNI MA BJR AS1721