Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel
The Gujarat government Tuesday proposed to hike stamp duty on registration of marriage among others and increase electricity tariff for industrial captive consumption in the 2019-2020 budget besides making substantial allocations for key sectors, including agriculture. The proposed hike in stamp duty on various instruments and also power tariff will generate an additional revenue of Rs 287 crore for the government.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the state's budget, which has a size of over Rs 2.03 lakh crore and focuses on development, for the remaining months of the current fiscal. The budget, which has gone over Rs 2 lakh crore in size for the first time in the history of the state, shows a surplus of Rs 572.12 crore and proposes to spend around 62 per cent of the total budgeted amount on development works.
The government excepts to have revenue receipt of Rs 154731.96 crore in 2019-20 as against Rs 140531.72 crore in 2018-19. Though Gujarat’s tax income has declined by about Rs 4,000 crore after the implementation of GST, the effect is not seen in the budget as the Centre is compensating the state for the loss as of now, officials said.
Presenting his seventh budget in the assembly, Patel proposed to increase stamp duty charges for various instruments. For stamp duty related to adoption deed, marriage registration, partnership and release of ancestral property in favour of legal heirs, the present rate of Rs 100 is proposed to be increased to Rs 200, he said.
For any affidavit, the rate has been proposed to be increased to Rs 50 from Rs 20 at present. For other instruments, the stamp duty will be Rs 300 from Rs 100 now. The government expects to earn an additional revenue of Rs 107 crore during the remaining part of the current financial year by increasing stamp duty charges.
Patel also proposed to increase electricity duty from 55 paise to 70 paise per unit levied on self-generation from conventional resources for captive consumption by an industrial undertaking. Due to this proposal, the state will earn Rs 180 crore additional revenue this year.
Therefore, the proposed hike in stamp duty on various instruments and power tariff for industrial captive consumption will bring in additional revenue of Rs 287 crore for the government. On the budget eve, Patel had said the state’s revenue has dipped by Rs 4,000 crore-Rs 5,000 crore after the GST implementation when compared to revenue earned by it before the new tax regime which came into force in 2017.
After the budget was presented, additional chief secretary (finance) Arvind Agrawal said though the income has come down, there is no impact of it on the budget as the Centre is compensating the state government. The compensation will be up to 2022, he added.
Patel said the budget has been prepared keeping in mind five key focus areas - water management, green and clean energy, environment, agriculture and farmers welfare, and employment.
Referring to the ambitious ‘Nal Se Jal’ scheme launched recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing piped drinking water for every household in the next five years, Patel said the state would spend Rs 20,000 crore over next three years “to ensure that no household in Gujarat is left without the facility of tap drinking water”.
Out of this outlay of Rs 20,000 crore for three years, Rs 4,500 crore will be spent in the current fiscal, which is 36 per cent more compared to last year, said Patel. In the renewable energy sector, Patel announced a new scheme to popularise solar roof-top system of electricity generation.
Under the scheme, beneficiaries will be given a subsidy of 40 per cent up to 3KV and a subsidy of 20 per cent for the system of 3 to 10KV, Patel said. A provision of Rs 1,000 crore for this scheme has been made in the budget. The finance minister said the established capacity of renewable energy in Gujarat is 8,885 MW as of now, and it has been planned to increase the capacity to 30,000 MW by 2022.
In a major announcement for farmers waiting to get electricity connection for agriculture purposes since many years, Patel said all the 1.25 lakh pending applications of cultivators will be cleared in one year. For this, a provision of Rs 1,931 crore has been made in the budget.
Other major budget announcements for the farming community included a provision of Rs 235 crore to promote mechanised agriculture and a provision of Rs 34 crore to provide subsidy to agro and food processing units.
Underlining the need to save water in the wake of a weak monsoon last year, he said a provision of Rs 7,157 crore has been made in this budget to carry out various works such as maintenance of dams and improving existing canal network.
For the Sardar Sarovar Project on the river Narmada, the state has made a provision of Rs 6,595 crore which will be mainly used for construction of canals, said Patel. He said the state would spend Rs 260 crore for the “integrated development” of various facilities and tourist attractions near the Statue of Unity at Kevadiya in Narmada district.
With an aim to improve birth rate of girl child, Patel announced a new scheme called “Vahale Deekaree Yojana”. Under the scheme, the first and second girl child of a family shall be provided assistance of Rs 4,000 each at the time of enrollment in the first standard and Rs 6,000 each when she takes admission in the ninth standard.
When she reaches the age of 18, the government would provide an assistance of Rs 1 lakh which can be used for either her marriage or for higher education, Patel said. A family with an annual income up to Rs 2 lakh will be eligible for the scheme for which the state has made a provision of Rs 133 crore in the budget, said Patel.
On the job front, Patel said the government would employ around 60,000 people during the next three years. A “minimum 50 lakh beneficiaries” will be given loans under the Mudra Yojna for self-employment, he said. Patel said opportunities of self-employment will be created for 25 lakh women “by making available loan of Rs 700 crore” this year.
Other key allocations in the budget included a provision of Rs 30,045 crore for comprehensive development of the education sector, Rs 10,800 crore for health, Rs 10,058 crore for the road and building department and Rs 1,048 crore for the climate change department. In view of the Lok Sabha elections in April-May, the state government had presented a vote-on-account in March.