Maharashtra budget earmarks Rs 25,000 crore for agri sector

As the state is reeling under an unprecedented drought, the BJP-led government in Maharashtra on Friday earmarked Rs 25,000 crore for the farm sector in the Budget for 2016-17, while tweaking certain taxes such as VAT and offering exemptions for the sugarcane industry.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 18, 2016, 20:58 PM IST

Mumbai: As the state is reeling under an unprecedented drought, the BJP-led government in Maharashtra on Friday earmarked Rs 25,000 crore for the farm sector in the Budget for 2016-17, while tweaking certain taxes such as VAT and offering exemptions for the sugarcane industry.

Presenting the second Budget of the Devendra Fadnavis government, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar raised the Motor Vehicle Tax on two- and three-wheelers, based on engine capacity.

He projected a revenue mobilisation of Rs 2,20,810 crore against revenue expenditure of RS 2,24,454 crore, leaving a deficit of Rs 3,644 crore.

New tax proposals of Rs 301 crore are expected to make up for a part of the deficit.

For Make In India and Make In Maharashtra schemes, the Finance Minister proposed incentives worth Rs 1,000 crore to promote investments in the underdeveloped Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.

Giving thrust to farm sector, Mungantiwar said, "The farmer of this state is the backbone of the rural economy. self-dependent farmers and prosperous villages constitute the foundation of `Make in India'."

VAT on coconut hair oil sold in packs of up to 500 ml has been enhanced to 12.5 per cent.

Exemption from levy of Sugarcane Purchase Tax for the year 2015-16 will be extended to sugar factories which export sugar as per the government policy.

The Finance Minister also announced an amnesty scheme for Profession Tax enrolment holder. Tax liability and penalty will be restricted to previous three years, he said. Under the amnesty scheme for tax administered by Sales

Tax Dept, the interest and penalty will be waived for dues up to March 31, 2005 subject to full tax payment, and also for disputed dues from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2012 subject to full tax payment. A 25 per cent interest payment under VAT Act and balance dues will also be waived, he said.

Exemption of VAT will be given on warping and sizing of yarn for promoting the textile industry, he said.

Turnover limit for composition to retailers under the MVAT Act has been increased from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore.

VAT on the mammography machines used for detection of breast cancer will also be exempted.

VAT on sterile water for injections will be reduced from 12.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent, Mungantiwar said.

For the bakery industry, the turnover of tax free goods would be excluded for computing the turnover for composition.

VAT on retrofit kit fitted to vehicles for physically handicapped would be exempted.