Budgets: M'rashtra goes for Rs 1000 cr taxes, Delhi has none

Mumbai/New Delhi, March 20: This is the tale of two budgets, one that imposes Rs 1000 crore taxes and the other that spares taxes on common man.

With large parts of the state suffering due to severe drought, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio presented today the state budget and proposed hike in taxes on cigarette, tobacco, liquor, cosmetics and jewellery to mop up additional resources to fund relief efforts and meet the state's development needs. Pawar presented a Rs 184.38 crore surplus budget that seeks to net an additional Rs 1150 crore through increase in taxes.

In Delhi, which is an election year for the city-state, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday presented a Rs.37,450 crore budget for 2013-14 with no fresh taxes. Delhi is going to have assembly polls later this year.

Presenting the budget proposals in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Pawar said tax on cigarette will be raised from 20 per cent to 25 per cent and bidi from 5 per cent to 12.5 per cent. While 12.5 per cent tax on branded tobacco sold in pouches will remain unchanged, unmanufactured tobacco, which is hitherto tax free, would be taxed at 12.5 per cent.

The Minister also announced increase in excise duty on country liquor, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and strong beer. Excise duty on country liquor has been raised from Rs 95 to Rs 110 Per Proof Litre (PPL), while on IMFL it has been hiked from Rs 240 to Rs 300 PPL.

Duty on strong beer has been raised from Rs 42 per bulk litre or 175 per cent of manufacturing cost whichever is higher, to Rs 60 per bulk litre or 200 per cent of the manufacturing cost whichever is higher.

The budget also proposed increasing tax on lottery awards, gold, silver and jewellery made from these metals. Cosmetics and shampoo will be taxed at 12.5 per cent, Cosmetics and shampoo will be taxed at 12.5 per cent. Sugarcane purchase tax has also been raised from 3 to 5 per cent for a year to mobilise funds for drought relief.
Keeping severe drought in mind, he said, government was fully committed to scarcity mitigation measures on which an expenditure of Rs 1164 crore was expected.

Delhi's taxfree budget

Presenting the 15th consecutive budget of her government, Sheila Dikshit today put focus on social sector projects in an election year when her party will approach voters for a record fourth term in the capital.

In her budget speech in Delhi Assembly, she expressed confidence that the city government is on track to grow on nine per cent compared to five per cent of the national level.

She also outlined the development activities taken up by her government in several sectors, including infrastructure, health, water and transport. This is the consecutive third term of Dikshit-led Congress government in the capital, which will go to polls in November.

"Delhi is on the track to grow on nine per cent compared to five per cent of national average... The per capita income in Delhi is Rs 2,01,083. It has gone up by five times since this government took over. In 1998 when we came to power it was Rs 40,060," she said.

Presenting a Rs 37,450 crore budget for the next fiscal, she said Rs 16,000 crore has been earmarked as plan outlay. Out of the total plan outlay, she said, a whopping Rs 10,351 crore has been earmarked for social sector projects.

There is an increase of 33 per cent in the allocation for health sector from Rs 1,872 crore to Rs 2,419 crore, she said.

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