Tarun Gogoi presents Rs 66,142.16 crore Assam Budget
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Tuesday presented a Rs 66,142.16 crore budget for the state for 2015-16 and exempted cancer drugs and medicinal oxygen from VAT but hiked duties on cigarette and liquor.
Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Tuesday presented a Rs 66,142.16 crore budget for the state for 2015-16 and exempted cancer drugs and medicinal oxygen from VAT but hiked duties on cigarette and liquor.
Presenting the budget for the next fiscal, Gogoi said, "Non-Plan expenditure estimates for the financial year are estimated at Rs 39,803.45 crore. Plan expenditure has accordingly been estimated at Rs 66,142.16 crore."
Tax receipts of the state are estimated to be Rs 12,892.39 crore while non-tax revenues for the next fiscal are estimated to be Rs 4,325.87 crore, he said.
"With the above estimates, fiscal deficit will be 2.18 per cent of state GDP and there would be revenue surplus of Rs 5,501.25 crore and is 2.76 per cent of estimated state GDP of 2015-16," Gogoi, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said.
On tax proposals, he announced to make cheaper cancer drugs and oxygen for hospitals in the state.
"I have noticed that the cancer patients have been increasing in the state and cancer drugs are being taxed at the rate of 5 per cent of VAT. To give relief to the patients and their families, I propose to exempt the cancer drugs sold in the state from VAT," Gogoi said.
The Chief Minister also proposed to exempt medicinal oxygen from VAT to benefit patients looking at the criticality of its needs.
He, however, announced his plans to hike the rates of the products that are injurious to health such as cigarettes and alcohol.
"Smoking is injurious to health. Therefore, I propose to impose a cess of Rs 1 per pack of cigarettes to raise funds for improving health services in Assam," Gogoi said.
"I propose to substantially increase fees and taxes on liquor with a view to discourage alcoholism and spread of bar and liquor shops," he said.