More FSI in Mumbai, Rs 6,000 crore for irrigation in budget

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Mumbai, Mar 19 (UNI) Presenting a surplus budget for 2008-09 in the State Assembly, Maharashtra Finance Minister Jayant Patil today withdrew stamp duty on crop loans, abolished octroi in 15 'D' class municipal corporations and enhanced irrigation allocation to Rs 6,000 crore for the next fiscal.

Mr Patil, presenting his tenth successive budget in the House introduced fresh tax proposals to yield an additional Rs 367 crore and extending concessions to the tune of Rs 142 crore, with a chunk of it Rs 80 crore being extended to farmers by way of waiver of stamp duty on mortgage deed of crop loans.

Opposition Shiv Sena and BJP members boycotted the budget presentation in the Legislative Council, where Minister of State for Finance Dr Sunil Deshmukh presented the budget. The protest was in connection with the passage of Employee Guarantee Scheme legislation without proper debate.

Mr Patil broke the tradition of wearing Jodhpuri and walked in wearing dhoti, kurta, jacket and 'Gandhi' cap to table the budget of most progressive state of the country whose GDP has touched nine per cent growth.

He announced an increase in FSI in Mumbai Suburban District to 1.33, to be brought on par with FSI permissible in the island metropolis.

To promote trade and industry development across the state, Mr Patil announced reduction in tax on aviation turbine fuel to four per cent from 25 per cent, if the fuel was used by aircraft for flying in centres other than Mumbai and Pune, reduced the tax on timber from 12.5 per cent to four per cent and bought airconditioners and tiles manufactured outside the state under the ambit of entry tax.

He also revised passenger tax with the airconditioned coach passenger services of the State Road Transport Corporation, attracting a 5.5 per cent tax. The rates for private fleet owners has also been increased with the new rates per seat, per year being Rs.7000 for AC sleeper coach, Rs 6500 for AC buses and Rs 5500 for non-AC buses with all India permit.

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