Gujarat govt's interim budget 2019 has sops for all
Gandhinagar, Feb 20 (KNN) With the Lok Sabha elections just a few months away, the BJP government in Gujarat dished out an array of sops for fishing community and farmers, while staying away from imposing any tax hike in its Interim Budget for financial year 2019-20.
The budget's size for the financial year 2019-20 was pegged at Rs 1,91,817 crore, however, as the vote-on-account was presented for the first four months due to the coming elections, the government sought approval for the spending of Rs 64,255 crore without announcing any new scheme or project.
The revenue income estimated for 2019-20 is 1,54,885 crore against Rs 1,40,531 crore in 2018-19.
The revenue expenditure was estimated at Rs 1,45,022 crore in 19-20 against Rs 1,39,153 crore in 18-19.
Patel, who holds the finance portfolio, said in his budget speech that in the last five years (2013-2017) Gujarat's average annual economic growth rate has been 9.9% at constant (2011-12) prices, highest amongst the major states.
Patel also said that the state economy registered a growth of 11.2% during 2017-18.
Fishermen will get enhanced diesel subsidy to Rs 15 per litre instead of the earlier Rs 12. It will benefit 10,677 fishing boat owners, the finance minister said.
Patel told reporters later that a vote-on-account cannot introduce new schemes, but can increase the amount of assistance in existing schemes.
As per the revised budget estimate for 2018-19, Fiscal Deficit stands at 2.31% of GSDP, while it is estimated to be 1.08% for 2019-20.
Public debt in 2018-19 will be 16.16% of GSDP while the government has kept a target of bringing it down to 15.76% of GSDP.
"Gujarat with 5% population has 7.8% share in the GDP of the country. During 2017-18 the per capita income of the state at current prices was Rs 1,74,652, which is 12.6% more than the previous year," he said.
"The per capita income of the state is 54.8% higher compared to per capita income of the country," he added.
"Our government has adopted a well-planned approach with long term vision for the development of the state," Patel said in his speech.
The budget included sops for the poor and the middle classes. (KNN/JM)