Uttarakhand finance minister Indira Hridayesh, who presented her maiden Budget for the year 2012-13, did not make any new announcement that would have given a boost to sectors like power, tourism and industry which are considered to be catalysts of growth in the hill state.
Presenting a tax-free Budget with a revenue surplus of Rs 441.84 crore, Hridayesh made no new announcement or commitment regarding the early completion of big hydel power projects despite the sector taking a beating during the past few years with the state reeling under acute power shortage.
Though Hridayesh kept a budget outlay of Rs 104 crore for the tourism sector, she did not come out with any attractive scheme to boost the sector which has vast potential of generating employment opportunities.
Similarly, for the industrial sector as well, Hridayesh did not mention any new project or scheme. “The Budget is a very lackluster document with no new schemes for industry and power sectors,” said Pankaj Gupta, President, Indian Industries Association.
Presenting the Budget in the state Assembly yesterday, Hridayesh however said the fiscal deficit was around Rs 3,357.59 crore which is within the limits of FRBM Act. The total revenue receipts are estimated to be Rs 16,158.95 crore against last year’s Budget estimate of Rs 14,634.99 crore, an increase of 10.41 per cent over the last year’s Budget estimate.
Tax revenue receipts are estimated to be Rs 9,368.71 crore in 2012-13 against last year’s estimate of Rs 7715.05 core. The total expenditure for the year 2012-13 is estimated to be Rs 21,931.77 core against last year’s Rs 19,366.91 crore showing an increase of 13.24 percent.
The non-plan expenditure is around Rs 14882.81 crore this year which is 67.86 percent of total expenditure with an increase of 16.25 percent over previous year’s estimate of Rs 12802.62 crore. The total plan expenditure is estimated to be around Rs 7,048.96 crore.
Capital expenditure is Rs 6,214.66 crore which is 22.28 percent higher than the previous year’s. Estimate of expenditure under loan repayment this year is Rs 2,297.13 crore indicating a massive increase of 40.18 per cent against the last year’s estimates.
Among the sops declared by Hridayesh, stamp duty has been exempted for agriculture loans up to Rs 5 lakh for the benefits of farmers.
Relief has been given on VAT on some select items like petrol, umbrellas, CFL bulbs. The VAT relief on petrol will be Rs 1.87 on the recent hike of Rs 7.50 per liter. There will be a waiver on VAT on all types of umbrellas and VAT has been reduced to 4.5 percent on CFL bulbs.