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No new taxe proposed in HP Budget

Written by: Staff
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Shimla, Mar 3 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh proposed no new taxe in the 2006-07 Budget presented in the state assembly today, while several new schemes, programmes and concessions were announced.

Presenting the Rs 8,687.04 crore Budget, the Chief Minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, said no fresh taxes had been proposed as the state's financial position had improved due to better tax collection and high revenue generations from hydro-power projects, while the focus was on preservation, maintenance and consolidation of the achievements.

Mr Singh said the Budget with a human face showed his government's concern for poor and downtrodden and was ''path breaking'' as far as social security umbrella and social development was concerned.

The Budget opened with a surplus of Rs 13.70 crore against a deficit of Rs 138.80 crore projected in original Budget estimates for 2005-06 and the meager deficit of Rs 13.70 crore for the current year was off set by opening surplus balance.

The revenue and capital expenditures were pegged at Rs 6,775.32 crore and Rs 1,911.72 crore respectively against revenue and capital receipts of Rs 6521.22 crore and Rs 2152.12 crore with salaries (Rs 2714.15 crore), interest payment (Rs 1754.56 crore), loan and advance (Rs 1154.77 crore) pensions (Rs 698.25 crore), mantenance (Rs 288.01 crore), wages (Rs 103.19 crore) and subsidy accounting for about 80 per cent of the total Budget expenditure.

This was Mr Singh's fourteenth Budget, fourth in a row.

Mr Singh said the annual plan size had been increased from Rs 1,600 crore to Rs 1,800 crore for 2006-07, gross state domestic product (GSDP) had registered a growth rate of 8.2 per cent, inflation rate had come down to 3.5 per cent and per capita income increased to Rs 30,138 during 2005-06 against national average of Rs 25,788.

He also announced the introduction of contributory pension scheme for the employees recruited with effect from May 15, 2003 in view of increasing liability of pension which was likely to increase to Rs 1,000 crore by 2009-10.

The total debt burden was likely to be Rs 16,532 crore on March 31, 2005 in spite of swapping of loans, which restricted the interest payment liability to Rs 1700 crore and as such that the government had decided that no 'off budget' borrowings would be made in 2006-07.

MORE UNI AS PS VJ RN1923

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