Chennai, Jul 22: The Tamil Nadu government today presented its revised budget estimates for the year 2016-17, sparing the common man of any new taxes and pegging the revenue deficit at over Rs 15,000 crore.
Presenting his first budget after AIADMK retained power in the May 2016 polls, Finance Minister O Panneerselvam said implementation of new schemes and continuance of other welfare schemes have increased the expenditure of the state.
"The implementation of many new schemes such as waiver of agricultural loans of small and marginal farmers owed to cooperative institutions and free power to domestic consumers up to 100 units and continuance of various welfare schemes have indeed increased the expenditure of the state," he said.
Both are poll promises of AIADMK made for the May 16 Assembly elections. Panneerselvam identified water resource management, housing, poverty reduction, a clean Tamil Nadu and skill development as five key "state missions" even as he said the government's top priority is good governance.
"The government will take up housing on a massive scale and in keeping with the electoral promise, the state will construct 10 lakh houses in the next five years under various schemes," he said, adding Rs.689 crore have been allocated for the 'Housing for All' scheme.
In the revised budget estimates, the revenue expenditure has been estimated at Rs 1,64,029.56 crore as against the Rs 1,61,159.01 crore in the interim budget presented in February this year.
"As a result, the revenue deficit for the ongoing financial year has been estimated at Rs 15,854.47 crore," he said. The revenue deficit for 2016-17 was pegged at Rs 9,154.78 crore in the interim budget in February. Revenue receipts were estimated at Rs 1,48,175.09 crore. In the revised estimates, government pegged the fiscal deficit at Rs 40533.84 crore, which was 2.96 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product, "and is well below the limit prescribed by the Tamil Nadu Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2003", he said.
Due to continuing global conomic slowdown, tax revenue growth has been slow, Panneerselvam said. "The ripple effects of economic stagnation have had severe repurcussions on the state resources due to slowdown in the growth of tax revenue," he said.