A please-all budget  with an eye on polls

Smarting from the recent poll rout and wanting to do well in the coming Assembly elections, State bestows plethora of sops on farmers, traders and professionals 

Mumbai : With an eye on assembly elections after the drubbing it got in the Lok Sabha polls, the State Government presented a Rs 4,103.3 crore deficit Budget for 2014-15 with a slew of sops for farmers, traders and professionals.

The Budget presented by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, in the assembly pegs revenue receipts at Rs 1,80,320.5 crore and expenditure at Rs 1,84,423.28 crore.

The Budget has many relief measures for the farming community in the state where many farmers had committed suicide. “We have doubled the minimum assistance given to farmers,” the minister said, on the relief provided by the government to farmers in areas hit by drought, unseasonal rains and hailstorms.

The government, he said, would pay electricity bills of the affected farmers for the January-June 2014 period, Pawar said, adding it would also pay the interest on the crop loan taken by the affected farmers, besides extending loan repayment till December 2014.

The Deputy CM said no coercive action will be taken to recover the loans till then.

To keep the trading community, which has disapproved of the Local Bodies Tax (LBT) introduced last year, the turnover limit for registration under VAT has been doubled from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh and that for filing audit report has been increased from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

Though there have been talks of the LBT being replaced with Octroi again, nothing has been announced yet.

To keep urban citizens happy, the Budget has increased the minimum salary limit for profession tax to Rs 7,500 from Rs 5,000.

To appease the cotton farmers, the government has reduced tax rate on cotton to 2 per cent from 5 per cent.

Similarly, sugarcane sector has been exempted from the purchase tax for 2013-14.

The budget provides for Rs 100.4 crore to boost the textile sector.

An amount of Rs 4,255 crore has been earmarked for creation of 27,000 new jobs, Pawar said, adding an outlay of Rs 2,836 crore has been provided for road development. PTI

Govt to exempt VAT on aircraft spares

Mumbai: While infrastructure expenditure is the emphasis of the budget which includes roads and power sector, the state has sought to create employment by encouraging the aeroplane spares segment that have been exempted from a state levy. “The ambitious Multi-modal International Air Cargo Hub (MIHAN) proposed in Nagpur will get the impetus that would result in the creation of several jobs. Already, the MIHAN has registered booking for huge space by Boeing for the maintenance and repairs of their widebodied aeroplanes,” a secretariat official told FPJ.
Labour Secretary Arvind Kumar told FPJ, “The labour department has been allocated a mere Rs 73 crore in the current additional budget presented on Thursday. This is a Rs 23 crore increase over last years budgetary allocation. We expect to fill up over 1000 existing vacancies across the board in the labour department in the state. Over 40 per cent posts of both clerical as well as gazetted offficers are lying vacant and we hope to be able to fill these over the next year and a half.” – Renni Abraham

Other HIGHLIGHTS
l Minimum salary limit for profession tax increased to Rs 7,500 from Rs 5,000
l Turnover limit for registration under VAT has been doubled from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh and that for filing audit report has been increased from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore
l Minimum assistance doubled for farmers
l Rs 2,255 cr for creation of 27,000 new jobs
l Rs 2,836 for road development
l Rs 100.4 cr to boost textile sector
l Sugarcane sector exempted from purchase tax

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