Chandigarh: With eyes on Assembly elections this year, Congress-led Haryana government on Friday presented a tax-free Budget for 2014-15, with major allocations being made for education, power and social justice and empowerment.
Presenting Bhupinder Singh Hooda led state government`s last budget ahead of elections scheduled for October this year, Haryana Finance Minister Harmohinder Singh Chattha projected revenue deficit of Rs 5,013 crore for 2014-15, thrice of what it was in 2011-12, while blaming non-disbursal of Central sales tax arrears of more than Rs 7,000 crore from the Centre for growing deficit.
Unveiling a total budget size of Rs 73,301.08 crore, he projected total revenue receipts to the tune of Rs 47,690.14 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs 52,702.71 crore, showing revenue deficit of Rs 5,012.92 crore for 2014-15.
Acknowledging that state`s economy also faced adverse impact of high inflation, rising interest rates and pressure on rupee, he pinned hopes on eliminating revenue deficit by raising additional resource mobilisation by getting CST arrears from Centre, commencement of mining activity and taking some administrative steps like e-taxation project.
He admitted that as per Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) Act 2005, the existing revenue deficit should have been zero.
Notably, Haryana remained a revenue surplus state for a period starting from 2005-06 till 2007-08.
The fiscal deficit has also been projected at Rs 11,393 crore which will be 2.5 per cent of GSDP as against Rs 11,516 crore (Revised Estimates) for 2013-14.
"I am happy to announce that the budget for the year 2014-15 is a tax free budget," he said in his speech.
He admitted that there were huge challenges for the government in terms of providing urban amenities, water and electricity supply and efficient system of local self governance, saying that improved quality of life is fuelling the expectations of people.
"Our government has served the people well and with best of intentions. We are certain that people will continue to repose their faith in this government and give us another opportunity for continuing this noble task after the election of the next Vidhan Sabha scheduled to be held in October, 2014. Our track record shows that we fulfill what we promise," he said in his 90-minute speech.
He made several promises including more inclusive, faster and sustainable growth of all segments of society, an efficient, transparent and honest government; jobs and employment opportunities for youth; good care of the weaker sections to provide them equal opportunities for progress among others.